The answer, as JD Flynn certainly knows and all-but-concedes in his article, is "of course not."
The reason is that the Russian Bureau for Orthodox Spirituality has been given a veto over such. It's the same reason the pontiff can't criticize the nation whose war of aggression is killing that very same flock of his.
Can't afford to make the bearded governmental functionary in the Danilov Monastery upset.
By the way, the late, great Eastern Jesuit Robert Taft (yes, from that Taft family) had some pointed words to say to both East and West during his career. Usually, it was the latter that received more attention, especially in the endless liturgy wars. However, in this magisterial essay in 2000, while he directs fire at both, he lands a heavy blow on Orthodoxy for its complicity in religious persecution under Communism. A preview:
There is no way one can fairly judge the present tense ecumenical situation between Orthodox and Eastern Catholics in the former Communist East Bloc without an objective view of the martyrdom of the Greek Catholic Churches from the end of World War II until 1989. Attempts to attenuate or deny this history merit the same contempt now given to renewed attempts to deny the Holocaust.
* * *
Only in the light of these simple facts can the oft-repeated and widely publicized present Russian Orthodox complaints about losing to the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church almost all their Churches in the region of Galicia be placed in their proper context.
In the winter of 1944-45 the Soviet regime prohibited all contact of the Ukrainian Catholic hierarchy with its clergy and faithful, and initiated a campaign of forced meetings and propaganda in favor of union with the Russian Orthodox Church. Opponents were arrested and tortured, in April 1945 the entire Greek Catholic hierarchy was imprisoned, and the Soviet regime recognized the “Initiative Group” of three Catholic priests, formed to carry out the government plan, as the sole authority over the Church, instructing them to make lists of all clergy who refused to recognize their authority. Under police protection this group carried out a feverish campaign of propaganda and threats. The NKVD pressured the unwilling clergy to sign a petition for union with Orthodoxy. Those who refused were arrested. At the end of February, thirteen Catholic priests were received into Orthodoxy in Kiev and the two celibate members of the “Initiative Group” were secretly consecrated Orthodox bishops. Their leader, Havriyil Kostel’nyk, a married priest, was elevated to the rank of mitred archpriest, the highest dignity open to the married clergy.
On March 8-10, 1946, a “synod” of 216 terrorized priests and nineteen laypersons, orchestrated in Lviv under the leadership of this group, abolished the Union of Brest (1596). This purported to be a synod of the Ukrainian Catholic Church and to this day the Russian Orthodox Church has claimed it to be such and has steadfastly refused to repudiate either the synod or its own role in the charade.
But as the Russian Orthodox Church authorities are well aware, the entire Ukrainian Catholic hierarchy was in prison, and the entire presidium of the synod had in fact already become Orthodox, though this was kept secret until the farce was a fait accompli. The action was followed by massive arrests, interrogations, abuse, trials, banishment and deportations, causing incalculable suffering and death.
Russian Orthodox authorities ever since have defended what was done as a canonically legitimate synod of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church that freely and legitimately abolished of the “forced” Union of Brest, and to this day they have refused to disclaim or condemn it. The Acts of the synod were published in Ukrainian in Lviv in 1946, and in 1982 the Moscow Patriarchate issued bowdlerized (i.e., deliberately doctored) versions in Russian and English for the 45th anniversary of the shameful charade.
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was not destroyed but driven underground, to re-emerge maimed but still vigorously alive when finally granted freedom in 1989, at which time almost the entire Russian Orthodox Church in Western Ukraine, clergy, parishes, and faithful, re-entered the Catholic Church en masse.
Similar forced reunions with the Orthodox Church took place in 1947 in Transcarpathia, 1948 in Romania, and 1950 in Slovakia.
These are the unvarnished facts. This history is important for several reasons. First, it shows the demonstrable falsity of the accusation that the Catholic Church has “reinvented” or “resurrected” a dead and gone “Uniatism,” thereby stalling the Orthodox-Catholic ecumenical dialogue. A more nuanced view, one corresponding to the historical facts, leads one to recognize the following realities. Eastern Catholics were forced into the underground in the 1940’s by one of the bitterest and most violent persecutions in Christian history.
Although this was done by Stalinist regimes there is abundant and irrefutable evidence that it had the active support and/or collaboration of at least some Orthodox hierarchs and authoritative exponents. Each case must be taken by itself, and justice demands avoiding generalization, but there can be no doubt that ambiguous figures like Patriarch Justinian Marina in Romania, and Archbishop Makarij Oksijuk in Lviv and Transcarpathia, were active participants in these historic violations of human rights.
And one of the chief Romanian Orthodox ideologues of modern times, the Orthodox priest and noted theologian Rev. Dumitru Staniloae (d. 5 Oct. 1993), gave wholehearted vocal support for this massive violation of human rights, insisting that the “reunion [of Greek Catholics with the Orthodox Church which took place in 1948] was entirely free and spontaneous." This is not only a patent lie; it is also a denial of the bitter suffering of martyrs.
Read the whole thing--absolutely essential.
Frankly, my advice to the Ukrainians has always been to do the same thing. Just declare the patriarchate and get on with it. Do it, of course, only if you’ve got the bishops unanimously behind it …
Yes, I think they do now. The danger is that if there are even two people who say no, then Rome’s going to say that the bishops are divided and we can’t recognize it. I told them, take two steps. First, publicly declare the patriarchate. Second, request Roman recognition, but even if it doesn’t come, refuse all mail that doesn’t come addressed to the patriarchate. Don’t just pretend, but really do it. The Secretary of State sends a letter addressed to the archbishop? We don’t have any archbishop, we’ve got a patriarch. Send it back unopened, “addressee unknown.”
Now, fairness compels me to suggest that the current refusal to forcefully condemn Russia may have this grim history of Orthodox-facilitated oppression in mind. If Moscow still thinks it was "robbed" of Catholic faithful, there's no telling what they might be willing to bless if/when the conquest of Ukraine is complete. After all, they did it once, within living memory, and never repented of it.
But if that's the case, what kind of "dialogue partner" are you dealing with?