The Pope mourns the loss of a zealous pastor who helped rebuild the Church after the fall of Soviet Communism
The telegram was addressed to Major Archbishop Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), Cardinal Husar’s successor as head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, 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 who are descendants from 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.
His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk
Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halyč
I have learned of the passing of Cardinal Lobomyr 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 spiritually unite myself with the faithful of the diocesan community where he exercised his pastoral ministry, endeavoring 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 who are 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.
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