2 June 2017
Ukrainian Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, pictured in 2014, “was the spiritual father of the Ukrainian people” for decades. (photo: CNS/Petro Didula, Ukrainian Catholic University)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Ukrainian Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, known for his “velvety baritone” when chanting the Divine Liturgy or making one of his regular appearances on television or radio programs, died May 31 near Kiev at the age of 84.
Like many Ukrainian Catholics around the world, he knew what it meant to be a refugee, to spend time in a displaced persons’ camp, to immigrate and to start all over again.
But the experience also helped him become fluent in five languages, “and he could joke in all of them,” said Ukrainian Bishop Borys Gudziak of Paris.
And in a post-Soviet Ukraine, where leadership often meant “a compulsive passion” for money and power, “he lived in exemplary simplicity,” Bishop Gudziak told Catholic News Service on 1 June.
“In Ukrainian folklore, a blind elder is considered a sage,” the bishop said. “He was the wise man of the country, a real father whose embrace, word, warm smile and sense of humor — often self-deprecating — gave people a sense of joy and peace.”
Cardinal Husar also was an avid blogger and published his last piece on 1 May, a blog about politicians who show their loyalty to a church only to gain votes.
He saw a lack of ethical behavior and declining moral standards as a major problem at home and abroad, one that required a creative pastoral response.
“Addressing the problem of morality is not a matter of reciting rules, rules, rules, but of helping people to do God’s will,” he said in an interview with CNS in 2005.
Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, who was only 40 years old in 2011 when he succeeded Cardinal Husar as archbishop of Kiev-Halych and head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, cried as he spoke to reporters on 1 June about the cardinal’s death.
“He was the spiritual father of the Ukrainian people, and today, in one moment, we became orphans,” Archbishop Shevchuk told the press. The cardinal was a “great man, great pastor, great Ukrainian.”
One of the first questions reporters asked was when the process for Cardinal Husar’s beatification would begin. Archbishop Shevchuk replied that everyone who met the cardinal saw the beauty of his holiness, but the formal sainthood process requires prayer and time. Standard Vatican rules require a waiting period of five years from the time of a person’s death before the process can begin.
In a condolence message to Archbishop Shevchuk, Pope Francis recalled the cardinal’s “tenacious fidelity to Christ despite the deprivations and persecutions” suffered by the Ukrainian Catholic Church, which was forced into the underground by the communists.
“His fruitful apostolic activity to promote the organization of Greek Catholic faithful who were descendants of those forcibly transferred from Western Ukraine” and, simultaneously, his efforts to promote “dialogue and collaboration” with the Orthodox also were noted by the pope.
The cardinal’s body was being driven to Lviv, his hometown, on 1 June for two days of memorial services there. His funeral was scheduled for 5 June in Kiev.
Born 26 February 1933, Lubomyr Husar fled Ukraine with his parents in 1944 ahead of the advancing Soviet army. He spent the early post-World War II years among Ukrainian refugees in a displaced persons’ camp near Salzburg, Austria. In 1949, he immigrated with his family to the United States, eventually becoming a U.S. citizen.
From 1950 to 1954, he studied at St. Basil’s College Seminary in Stamford, Connecticut. He continued his studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington and at Fordham University in New York. He was ordained a priest of the Ukrainian Diocese of Stamford in 1958.
For the next 11 years, he taught at the Ukrainian seminary in Stamford and served in parish ministry. Sent to Rome, he earned a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Urbanian University in 1972 and joined the Ukrainian Studite monastic community.
He was ordained a bishop by Cardinal Josyf Slipyj in 1977 while the church in Ukraine was still illegal and operating from exile in Rome.
When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, he returned to his native country and served as spiritual director of the newly re-established Holy Spirit Seminary in Lviv.
The synod of Ukrainian bishops elected him exarch of Kiev-Vyshhorod, a position he took up in 1996. Several months later, the synod elected him an auxiliary bishop with special delegated authority to assist Cardinal Myroslav Lubachivsky, the major archbishop of Lviv.
Cardinal Lubachivsky died in December 2000, and in January 2001 the synod elected then-Bishop Husar to succeed him as head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. St. John Paul II made him a cardinal a month later.
Under his leadership and despite strong protests from the Russian Orthodox Church, in August 2005 Cardinal Husar established the major archiepiscopal see of Kiev-Halych and transferred the main church offices to Ukraine’s capital.
Cardinal Husar’s death leaves the College of Cardinals with 221 members, although Pope Francis is scheduled to create five new cardinals in late June.
2 June 2017
Tags: Ukraine Eastern Catholics Ukrainian Catholic Church
A child receives a checkup at a clinic run by the Near East Council of Churches in Shajaia, a neighborhood of Gaza City. Read more about Where Hope Is Kindled in the March 2017 edition of ONE. (photo: Tamara Abdul Hadi)
2 June 2017
Tags: Children Gaza Strip/West Bank Middle East Health Care
Pope Francis declares his prayer intention for the month of June: to end the arms trade. (video: Rome Reports)
Vatican’s ‘prayerful solidarity’ for Muslims during Ramadan (AsiaNews.it) The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has extended “prayerful solidarity” and greetings of “serenity, joy and abundant spiritual gifts” to Muslims for this Ramadan. Ramadan is the month of daily prayer and fasting broken only at night for a festive dinner (Iftar) and ends with the feast of Eid ul Fitr. This year the month began on 27 May and ends on 24 June…
Israelis join Palestinians in peaceful Hebron protest (Al Monitor) Long before the 1987 Palestinian intifada, the Arabic term sumud (meaning “steadfastness”) best reflected the form of resistance undertaken by Palestinians in the occupied territories. It reflected the important act of staying put on one’s land and refusing to budge no matter what. This is the term that Palestinians, Israelis and diaspora Jews recently applied to their unique act of nonviolent resistance in the largely abandoned village of Sarura, located south of Hebron. On 18 May, activists arrived in Sarura to support the villagers who have been harassed and intimidated to leave their homes by Jewish settlers and the Israeli army. In a span of 12 days, the Israeli army came to the camp and tried to break it up three times, without making any arrests. The Israeli army brought bulldozers and demolished all the established structures on 29 May. It seized all tents, mattresses and even a car…
ISIS militants battered Syria’s ancient Palmyra, but signs of splendor remain (Los Angeles Times) The once-resplendent Temple of Bel, dedicated to the principal deity of the ancient metropolis of Palmyra, has been reduced to a single sculpted arch rising gracefully from a jagged pile of tumbled columns and monumental stone blocks etched with grape vines and acanthus leaves. Also leveled are the Temple of Baalshamin, a Semitic god of the heavens, and the Arch of Triumph, an iconic assemblage whose image is stamped on Syria’s £10 coin. Still standing, however, are most of the stately colonnades lined up for nearly a mile along the main boulevard…
Following discrimination claims, Egypt’s Al Azhar enrolls Christian medical resident (Al Monitor) Al Azhar University is considered a beacon of centrist, moderate Islam in Egypt. But the university is still vulnerable to criticism and responds to any critiques with an eye on its public image. That may have been the case on 17 May, when the dean of Al Azhar’s Faculty of Dentistry in Assiut, Khalid Siddiq, accepted Abanoub Guirguis Naeem, a Christian student, for a residency training program — the first known case of a Christian student enrolling at the university…
1 June 2017
Tags: Syria Egypt Pope Francis Palestine Ramadan
Relatives of Copts killed during a bus attack attend their funeral service at Ava Samuel Monastery in Minya, Egypt, last Friday. (photo: Ibrahim Ezzat/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Coptic Christians describe bus attack in Egypt: ‘Even the little children were targets’ (Washington Post) The passengers on the bus heard a noise and thought a tire had exploded. One young man got up to see what had happened, and why there was so much smoke. But before he could open the door, a bullet smashed the glass and hit him in the head. Several gunmen dressed in military-style uniforms then sprayed the bus with gunfire. “In a second, they [the gunmen] got inside and shot at every living and moving object they could see,” said the driver, Boshra Kamel, 56, who was shot several times but survived by playing dead. “Even the little children were targets to them.” The passengers — a group of Coptic Christians — were on their way to a monastery in the Minya region, 150 miles south of Cairo, when the gunmen attacked last Friday, killing at least 30 people and wounding 26. It was the latest incident in rising violence targeting the country’s minority Christians, who make up 10 percent of the population…
ISIS fighters seal off Mosul mosque preparing for last stand (Daily Star Lebanon) ISIS militants have closed the streets around Mosul’s Grand al Nuri Mosque, residents said, apparently in preparation for a final showdown in the battle over their last major stronghold in Iraq…
Iraqis demand compensation from U.S. for bombing that killed more than 100 civilians (Christian Science Monitor) On 17 March, United States forces reportedly targeted two ISIS snipers in a single building, which set off a series of explosives in the house that killed many civilians. Iraqi officials, however, say that there were only civilians killed in the blast, and that there were no hidden munitions…
For Syrian refugees in Jordan, a path to financial independence (Christian Science Monitor) As part of a new initiative spearheaded by the World Food Program, the United Nations is giving educated Syrians and Jordanians training in business and IT skills, equipping and encouraging them to open their own start-ups in Jordan…
What I’ve seen in 30 years of reporting on the Israeli occupation (Haaretz) I began to write about the occupation almost by chance. Dedi Zucker, at that time a Knesset member, suggested that we go see a few olive trees that had been uprooted in the grove of an elderly Palestinian, who was living in the West Bank. That was the beginning, gradual and not planned, of exactly three decades of coverage of the crimes of the occupation. Most Israelis didn’t want to hear about it and still don’t want to hear about it. In the eyes of many citizens, the very act of covering this subject in the media is a transgression…
Protests break out after India bans cattle slaughter (Vatican Radio) Church leaders in India say the government’s ban on sale of cattle for slaughter across the country is a violation of human rights. The nationwide ban has alarmed minority groups and led to protests in several states. Beef is a cheap source of protein for Muslims and Christians who together form 20 percent of India’s population, as well as Adivasi and Dalit people…
Tags: Iraq India Egypt Violence against Christians Israel