Church that suffered under Soviets and rebounded loses its ‘sage’


Lubomyr Husar, the former head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, died on Wednesday at the age of 84 after having inherited a church “on its knees” in the post-Soviet period and leading it through a renaissance. Eerily reminiscent of St. Nicholas, the prototype for Santa Claus, Husar is being remembered as a sage and moral hero.


Son of God, forget them not-
Priests of Yours who served You right;
Grant them blissfulness of face
On That day your glory dawns
Moriho Rahem alaino adarain.


Quite a story!


“Now we have to carry on his legacy”

May his memory be eternal.


Praying for the repose of his soul & for his family.


Eternal rest grant unto him, Oh Lord.
May perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace.


Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

As an aside, I was intrigued to read that he studied at Fordham (where I attend) and that he was ordained in Stamford, CT (where I live). What a small world it is, and it is an honor to be in places that such a holy, dedicated man was also present.



History has known religious leaders who are remarkable for their
tireless missionary activity and monumental institution building. Some great churchmen have left a legacy of voluminous theological writings. Others have inspired with a charisma and spiritual power that seem super-human or defy the laws of nature. Today, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, most of us hope for spiritual guides who can touch us personally. Patriarch Lubomyr Husar is one of those unique figures who make an immediate, warm, welcoming impression and contact people on a basic human level. This direct simplicity has been nourished by his unusually rich experience and personal trials. Lubomyr Husar’s complex life has carried him across many lands and cultures and brought him to serve the Church in a variety of contexts and ministries. Some of the complexities came with
a hidden twist; most have been lived with an exemplary lightness and a singular grace.
(Borys Gudziak)


Book Review by Fr John Salter

My first meeting with Cardinal Patriarch Lubomyr Husar was in 1995 at the Ukrainian Greek Catholic centre in Rome, the College of SS. Sergius and Bacchus near the Coliseum and down the hill from Santa Maria Maggiore and the Russicum, or Russian College. We were on an excursion together on a 64 ’bus to the Leonine bookshop opposite St. Peter’s basilica. He was enthusiastic about finding some books by “Dr. Timothy Ware”. Mission accomplished we travelled back together for supper at SS.
Sergius and Bacchus. It became apparent in the bookshop that Father Lubomyr’s eyesight was far from strong and that he was going blind. He found it difficult to read and to recognize faces.
discovered that Father Lubomyr was the igumen or abbot of the Studite community in Rome, but had returned to the Ukraine and was back in the Eternal City on a visit. I had no idea that he was a secret bishop. He and two others had been secretly consecrated to the episcopate by Cardinal Patriarch Josyf Slipyj, whilst the latter was in exile in the Vatican City after years spent in the Soviet gulags. Slypyj was determined that Vatican ostpoliticking should not cause the total liquidation of his Church, which had suffered so much because of its loyalty to the Apostolic See in general and to the person of the Holy Father in particular. Validly but illicitly consecrated as far as the Holy See was concerned, the Cardinal Patriarch had ensured by his unilateral action that the Greek Catholic hierarchy would be secure when Ukraine’s liberation was at hand. Lubomyr Husar had kept his secret in a City where ecclesiastical secrets are notoriously hard to keep.
Dining in Rome in 1995 with Father Lubomyr and Bishop Basil Losten, then the Exarch for Ukrainians in Stamford, Connecticut, I learned that they were concerned as to how they might celebrate the following year the 400th anniversary of the Union of Brest, without antagonizing the Orthodox. Father Lubomyr was anxious that the Orthodox might be involved in some way. I saw at once that he was a true heir and successor to the great ecumenist and irenecist, Metropolitan Count Andrei Sheptytsky. Having survived the horrors of Nazism, seeing men murdered on his way to school, and Communism, which almost destroyed his beloved Church, he saw that there was a better way and that Christians ought to be leading along it.

The restoration of the so-called Uniate hierarchy had commenced with the arrival from exile of Cardinal Patriarch Myroslav Ivan Lubachivsky (Patriarch 1984 – 2000), who was greeted by tens of thousands of Greek Catholics on his arrival in Lviv, an event which surprised the government and the Vatican.
The person who interviewed Cardinal Lubomyr for this fascinating book is Professor Antoine Arjakovsky, an Orthodox Frenchman, but of Russian extraction, who in his well chosen texts and spoken interviews brings out the down-to-earthness of the Cardinal, and his quiet sense of humour. Arjakovsky is a professional diplomat, a theologian and historian, and an interpreter of some of the great Russian thinkers of the twentieth century; he is the grandson of the recently canonised Orthodox martyr, Archpriest Dmitri Klepinin. He gives an amusing account of the story Cardinal Lubomyr told him of the latter’s grandfather, a Greek Catholic priest, who developed an unpleasant rash on his face. On consulting his doctor he was told to grow a beard and this relieve the scraping of a razor every day. Permission for this Uniate priest to grow a beard had to be sought from far-off Rome! Lubomyr gives this as an example of the worst for of ‘Uniatism’.
Dr Arjakovsky has produced a lively book in which the humanity and humour of Cardinal Lubomyr shine through, despite the trials he has endured and is now going through with the gradual loss of his sight. He will be like his predecessors in Lviv and no in Kiev a Confessor of the faith and a witness to Christian Unity through his total loyalty to the Apostolic See, won after much persecution and misunderstanding.

Cardinal Lubomyr, like the great Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky, makes one thing clear: namely that Union with the Universal-Catholic Church does not mean submission to the Pope as to the Patriarch of the West (a title now dropped from the Annuario Pontificio), but an acceptance of his supreme authroity as Father and Pastor of the Universal Church, over and above any concept of a Western Patriarchate. The difference is fundamental: the Pope as Pope is not Latin, but Catholic.


According to the Ukrainian Religious Information Service RISU, on June 1 in the evening the coffin with Patriarch Lubomyr’s body was brought to St George’s Cathedral of Lviv. Hundreds of Lviv residents came to meet the funeral procession. People prayed, many of them did not hide their emotions. Clergymen brought the coffin to the cathedral in their hands, where it will stay for three days.

Many of Lviv residents, who came to the Cathedral, had known personally the Patriarch, had talked to him and received his spiritual guidance, advice. After returning from abroad Lubomyr (Husar) stayed in Ukraine more than 20 years. Here he was born. In Lviv, on January 26, 2001, he ascended to the throne of the Archbishop of Kyiv and Galicia and led the UGCC.

The residents and visitors of Lviv will have an opportunity to come and pay tribute to the deceased for two days – on Friday, June 2 and Saturday 3 June. During this period, St. George Cathedral will be open day and night.

In addition, on Friday at 10 am the funeral Divine Liturgy will be celebrated. The next day, after the Hierarchical Divine Service, which will begin at 9 am, a mourning procession will follow the streets of the city, ending at the church of St. Archangel Michael of the Studite Monastery.

On Sunday, June 4, the funeral procession with the body of Patriarch Lubomyr will arrive in Kyiv to the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection.


Farewell to His Beatitude Lubomyr Husar in Lviv


Pope Francis has sent a telegram his condolences on the death of His Beatitude, Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, Major Archbishop emeritus of Kyiv-Halyč. The telegram is addressed to Major Archbishop Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), Cardinal Husar’s successor as head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. The UGCC is the largest of the sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches, with more than 4.5 million faithful.
In the telegram, signed by the Pope himself, the Holy Father describes Cardinal Husar as a zealous pastor, and recalled “his tenacious faithfulness to Christ, despite the hardships and persecutions against the Church, as well as his fruitful apostolic activity to promote the organization of Greek Catholic faithful, descendants of families forced to leave western Ukraine, and his efforts to find new ways for dialogue and collaboration with the Orthodox churches.”
Below, please find the full text of Pope Francis’ telegram of condolences for the death of His Beatitude Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, Major Archbishop emeritus of Kyiv-Halyč:

His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk
Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halyč
I have learned of the departure of Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, Major Archbishop emeritus of Kyiv-Halyč, and I raise fervent prayers to God that He may grant eternal repose to this zealous pastor. I unite spiritually with the faithful of this diocesan community where he exercised his pastoral ministry, endeavouring with care to serve the rebirth of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. I remember his tenacious faithfulness to Christ, despite the hardships and persecutions against the Church, as well as his fruitful apostolic activity to promote the organization of Greek Catholic faithful, descendants of families forced to leave western Ukraine, and his efforts to find new ways for dialogue and collaboration with the Orthodox churches. In expressing my condolences to the relatives of the departed cardinal, to the clergy and to those who were aided by his episcopal ministry, I wholeheartedly impart a consoling apostolic blessing, as a sign of faith and Christian hope in the risen Lord.


What a stirring account of bravery and persistence in
the face of persecution by the Russian State!!

Eternal rest grant unto him, O God and
may perpetual light shine upon him, and
may his soul and the souls of all the faith-
ful departed RIP.


“Cardinal Husar: three reasons why his passing away help us understand the times we live in”
(Monday Vatican, by Andrea Gagliarducci)


The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) together with the 20-million strong Ukrainian diaspora shares the deep sorrow of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) and the Ukrainian nation on the passing into eternity of Major Archbishop and former Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Lubomyr Husar.


“Тhe Remarkable Life of Lubomyr Husar”
by George Weigel


There is one more article about Lubomyr Husar by Borys Gudziak, the Eparch of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Eparchy of Paris.
“Люди бачили у Блаженнішому Любомирі відблиск Бога”
" The people saw in His Beatitude Lubomyr the reflection of God "
This article probably can be called a manual for spiritual housing construction and management of God in the human soul.
Hopefully this article will be translated into English, and presented to the English-speaking reader.


“In Memoriam: Lubomyr Husar, Cardinal and Spiritual Father of Ukraine”


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