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http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=5186

Thoughts anyone?

I am by no means an expert, but this sounds a little fishy to me. A "political" move, if you will, and a stick in the eye of greek catholics.

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Based on reading Fr Serge's translation of Fr Cyril Korolevsky's biography of Metropolitan Andrew (Sheptytsky) with its thorough history of Greek Catholic groups ISTM Fr Gabriel was more a tool of the Communists than an example for the Orthodox. But to be fair the Russian Orthodox Church is not canonising him as Filipe's heading says; it's only investigating his 'cause'. It could be political as the Ukraine's Western-orientated coalition government favoured by the US (and I'm guessing the Greek Catholics) is unsteady; this could be the Russian-orientated majority's way of flipping them off.

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There have been efforts towards the canonization of Protopresbyter Gabriel Kostel'nyk for well over twenty years now. As our young fogey correctly states, this latest announcement primarily concerns yet another effort, this time seeming to emanate from Archbishop Augustine of L'viv (Moscow Patriarchate).

Archbishop Augustine is bitter about the reverses of fortune of his Church, and especially his own diocese, since the renaissance of the Greek-Catholic Church and the collapse of the USSR. In expression of that bitterness, he is wont to say -in public - that he and his small diocese are the only source of God's grace in Galicia; he often claims that he and his small diocese are being persecuted, that he and his small diocese are the legitimate owners of Saint George's Greek-Catholic Cathedral, and so on and so forth. None of this does him any particular good, but rather moves people who might otherwise be friendly to ignore the man.

The announcement of the renewed "investigation" of the possibility of canonizing Protopresbyter Gabriel includes some statements which are blatantly contrary to fact. Slightly more interesting is the renewed assertion that the man who killed Protopresbyter Gabriel was an agent of the Ukrainian nationalist underground - even Protopresbyter Gabriel's own son. Presvytera Kostel'nyk and her children (who were all Greek-Catholics, incidentally, and remained so) denied this emphatically; Presvytera Kostel'nyk testified in writing that she had never set eyes on the killer until that very day, and had no idea of who he was or might have been.

The Soviet secret police had mysteriously removed the usual guard on Protopresbyter Gabriel that same morning. No sooner had Protopresbyter Gabriel been killed than the same secret police came up out of the cement or the brick-work and immediately shot the assassin dead; as we all know, "dead men tell no tales".

Protopresbyter Gabriel is known to have been increasingly angry at both the Soviet Government and the Moscow Patriarchate, because certain specific promises the Government and the Patriarchate had made remained unfulfilled: this particularly included the re-opening of the L'viv Seminary and Academy. He had already been warned that he was talking too much and should guard his tongue more carefully.

It is not impossible that what moved the Soviets to kill him was that the Ukrainian nationalist underground did, in fact, have a plan to spirit him to the West, where he could speak freely and would be able to testify as to what had really happened during the crucial time period of the suppression of the Church.

This implies that he may in fact have been martyred, strange as that may seem - if he was killed for the "crime" of advocating and promoting Christianity! It is true that he was scarcely cold in his grave before the Soviet secret police arrested his closest collaborators and shipped them off to Siberia.

Protopresbyter Gabriel Kostel'nyk was a complicated personality. It would take at least a minor miracle in the form of the discovery of verifiable diaries or something similar to offer any serious possibility of understanding him.

But rather than go on at greater length, I suggest my own book, Passion and Resurrection: the Greek-Catholic Church in Soviet Ukraine. I'm preparing a new, expanded edition at the moment since several volumes of Soviet government documents with direct bearing on these events have come to light and been published in Ukraine.

As to Protopresbyter Gabriel himself, the best thing to do is to pray for him.

Fr. Serge

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Слава Ісусу Христу!

“The murderer was surrounded by a crowd of believers and shot himself. He was a member of a terrorist group, led by Roman Shukhevich, chief of the Ukrainian Rebel Army (UPA).” INTERFAX 9-23-08 News Religion

The young fogey may have hit the nail on the head.

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Proof, please?

Fr. Serge

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Слава Ісусу Христу!

Father, are we not on the same page here?

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I believe we are - and I have just requested proof that the Ukrainian Insurgent Army was implicated in the murder. If you have such proof, I would be more than grateful for it.

Fr. Serge

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Слава Ісусу Христу!

It was not my comment Father but a quote from the original article provided by Filipe YTOL:
http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=5186
I was just agreeing with the motive as political not pious as suggested by The young fogey.

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Quote
Kostelnyk, Havryil [Kostel’nyk, Havryjil], b 1886 in Ruski Krstur, Bačka region, Serbia, d 20 September 1948 in Lviv.
Priest, writer, journalist, philosopher, and theologian.

He studied philosophy and theology at Zagreb University, Lviv University, and Fribourg University (PH D 1913). Ordained in 1913, after the First World War he moved to Lviv, where he was a professor of theology and philosophy at the Greek Catholic Theological Seminary in Lviv (1920–8) and the Greek Catholic Theological Academy (1928–30). He also edited the religious journal Nyva (1922–32). In the late 1920s, Kostelnyk emerged as a critic of the Vatican's Uniate policy and the leading representative of the ‘Eastern’ (anti-Latinization) orientation among the Greek Catholic clergy. His position made him a target of NKVD pressure and blackmail during the 1939–41 Soviet occupation of Galicia, when the authorities tried unsuccessfully to have Kostelnyk organize an ‘away from Rome’ schism in the Ukrainian Catholic church. After the Soviets reoccupied Galicia in 1944 and arrested the entire Ukrainian Catholic episcopate, Kostelnyk was finally compelled by the authorities to assume chairmanship of the so-called Initiating Committee for the Reunification of the Greek Catholic Church with the Russian Orthodox Church. In this capacity, Kostelnyk presided over the Soviet-staged ‘Reunion Sobor’ in Lviv in March 1946 (see Lviv Sobor of 1946), designed to supply the pseudo-canonic, voluntary façade to the Soviet suppression of the Ukrainian Catholic church. He was killed under mysterious circumstances; while Soviet authorities have blamed his murder on the Vatican and Ukrainian nationalists, the evidence suggests that the assassination was masterminded by the Soviet police.
Kostelnyk's early poetry and prose were written in his native dialect, and he is considered the creator of the Bačka literary language. His first literary work, Z moioho valala (From My Village), appeared in 1904, and in 1923 he published Hramatyka bachvan’sko-ruskei besedy (Grammar of the Bačka Ruthenian Language), the first work of its kind. His collected works in the Bačka dialect were published in two volumes in Novi Sad (1970, 1975). Later he began to write prose and poetry in Ukrainian. His scholarly works include Try rozpravy pro piznannia (Three Tracts on Understanding, 1925), Spir pro epiklezu mizh Skhodom i Zakhodom (The Disagreement about Epiclesis between East and West, 1928), and articles in the journals Nyva and Bohosloviia.
Prof. B.R. Bociurkiw
University of Ottawa
http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?AddButton=pages\K\O\KostelnykHavryil.htm
University of Toronto’s Encyclopedia of Ukraine

I wonder if any recent research has uncovered the identity of the real killer.

This article here mentions Kostelnik's Ukrainian nationalism.
Quote
Kostelnyk, Havryil
Protopresbiter ( Archdeacon ), Dr. Phil.
HAVRIIL KOSTELNIK (1886-1948)

Havriil KOSTELNIK ( Homzov ) was born in Ruski Kerestur ( in that time - Bacs Keresztur ) on June 15th, 1886. As for wealth, he belonged to the average family. His father, Fedor, was a smart man who was a member of the village government from 1895 to 1919. His mother's name was Ana and her maiden name was Makai. Havriil had five siblings : brothers Michal and Janko, and sisters Maria, Jula and Helena. All his siblings stayed in their native village working as farmers.
He was the most educated Rusyn from Vojvodina, of his time. He was educated and served on the West, but his heart belonged to the East. All his works resemble unsettled spirit and passion that burnt in his heart. He wrote in Rusyn, Ukrainian, Croatian, German, Polish, and Latin discussing philosophical topics, theology, history, sociology and linguistics, as well as writing poems and plays. He married Eleonora Zaricka ( 1891-1982 ) , daughter of the principle of Lviv Ruska Gimnazia, in 1913. With her, he had five children: Sviatoslava ( 1914-1920 ), Irinei ( 1916 ), Bohdan ( 1921-1941 ), Zenon ( 1924 ) and Christina ( 1925 ) .

First six grades of the Primary School, he completed in the village he was born, during 1894-1898. He was an excellent student, especially when it came to mathematics and recitals.
First and second year of the Grammar school, he finished in Vinkovci, Croatia, and third and fourth grade he completed in Zagreb, Croatia.
He enrolled in University of Zagreb Theological Faculty, in 1906. But during the first year of his studies, Bishop of Kriћevci and dean of Theological Faculty, Dionizii Njaradi, spotted his talent, and sent him to Lviv, Ukraine for further studies. He graduated from Lviv Spiritual Seminary in 1911. At that time he officially became member of Lviv Archieparchy, although current Bishop of Kriћevci, Julius Drohobeckyi, never let him go.
Being a member of Lviv Archieparchy, he got scholarship from Archbishop of Lviv, Andrei Sheptycky, for his postgraduate studies. He was sent to Freiburg, Switzerland, to the famous Catholic University, to study philosophy. In 1913, Havriil is awarded level of Ph.D. for his thesis About the Basic Principles of Cognition. He prints his thesis in Latin : "Gabriel Kostelnik, De Principiis Cognitionis Fundamentalibus, Leopoli 1913", and verifies the same Doctorate at Lviv University in 1915.

The First Rusyn Original Book
Havriil Kostelnik was author of the first original book of Rusyns in Vojvodina : Idyllic Sequence - From My Village . This book was printed in 500 copies in Ћovkva, Ukraine, in print shop of Basilian monks in 1904. Kostelnik got a positive critique from Volodymyr Hnatiuk, who said that this book was the most important accomplishment of Rusyns of Hungarian Rus, even comparing to O. Duhnoviи and O. Pavloviи. Thanks to recommendation of Hnatiuk and Љahmatov, Petersburg Academy decided to cover the costs of printing. However, Rusyns in Vojvodina were very poor, and hardly anybody did want to buy Havriil's book. Therefore, he had to pay for the printing himself. This assured young author that his effort was pointless, and he decided to stop writing in Rusyn.
Accomplishments in Croatian
Being a theology student, Kostelnik becomes a member of Croatian catholic youth organizations. He writes in Croatian his Romances and Ballads which was published in 1907. In 1911 he published his collection of poetry Zumberak - Mountain Symphonies , and in 1917 in magazine Enlightenment he prints his poem Moments.

Accomplishments in Ukrainian
In 1918 he published historical poem Arise Ukraine . The poem was created in times of revolutionary changes in Russian Empire and disintegration of Austro-Hungarian Empire. During a short period, when Galicia was no man's land, Ukrainians hoped that they could create their own state. This period will be marked with workers' strikes, national and religious confrontations. International community will be deciding Galicia's future for five years, and the decision will be in favor of Poland. Kostelnik praises Ukrainians' battles for creation of their state, and portrays Archbishop Andrei Sheptitsky as a great religious and secular (political ) leader.

In 1921, when his daughter Sviatoslava died, he wrote a poem dedicated to his late 6 year old child, To the Late Daughter . Broken hearted, Kostelnik asks who's sins little Sviatoslava had to suffer for. He concluded, that it was probably because she was so innocent that God loved her so much and took her to His Kingdom, and those who sinned, were left on the Earth to suffer the calamities of XX century. Although he believes that God is just, Kostelnik cannot find comfort, for tragedy of the parent who survived his offspring is great.

Song for God, printed in 1922, is a poem which consists of 58 homilies. It was Kostelnik's most favorite. He thought that it was the most valuable writing he could ever compose. In this poem he praises God, represents a city as something unnatural ( Babylon - the source of sin ). The image of unnatural city receives Rome, too. This is probably the period when he already reconsiders Union (of Eastern Orthodox with Catholic Churches ), and starts seeing it as a Polish device for disintegrating Ukrainian nation. He also criticizes communist atheism and absolutism. Nationalism, according to one of the 58 homilies, is also against God's laws.

Dew Drops and the Sun is book published by Dzvoni, 1931-1932 in Lviv. It consists of 31 lyrical essay which are of moralistic, social,metaphysical and nature oriented character. In Stalin - the modern pharaoh he attacks Stalin, and calls him "pharaoh who built his pyramid from human bones".

The First Rusyn Original Play
Jephthah's daughter was printed in 1924. I was inspired by the story about Jephthah, from Judges 30-40 [BIBLE-NLT]. According to the author, this is a tragedy which contains five acts. But if one reads the play carefully, one will also recognize conventions of comedy, too.
Although based on a biblical story, this play has a renaissance and burlesque character, called Osifko ( Joseph ), who is a disabled person and an object of constant ridicule ( a character from comedy dell arte). The play itself followed the form of ancient tragedies.
According to Dr. Julijan Tamas, one should think of this play as of an allegory, moral of which is that one should accept one's destiny as given by God.

Post Mortem Publications
After Kostelnik's death, Ruske Slovo published two collections of his works in Ruthenian :
Poetry,1970 Prose , 1973
Scientific work
Havriil Kostelnik starts his scientific activities with his doctorate thesis De Principiis Cognitionis Fundamentalibus.
He wrote Christian Apologetics, where he considers reality and correctness of Christianity. As an experienced Christian apologist , he concluded that something was wrong with it as a separate science. The book consists of seven chapters:
1.Religion 2.God 3.Genesis 4.Soul 5.Epiphany 6.The Church of Christ 7.Causes of atheism
In the field of theory of cognition, he favored noetics ( he was a neothomist, after all). Studying this field, besides his doctorate thesis, he wrote the following discussions: The Conscious and Subconscious of Cognition , Sources of the Subjective Cognition, Cognition of the External World, The Logical Order, The Principle of the Basis of Identity of All Conclusions, Meaning of Negation and Nothing in Human Perception.
Psychology was perceived by Kostelnik as a science about soul. He was especially interested in experimental psychology and so called "psychology of stigmatization". He studied Nastia Volosin, who had stigmas or "Christ's wounds." Kostelnik acknowledged that stigma phenomenon in Nastia was not a hoax, and that it was probably real. He recognized her abilities of creating "mystical images" which carried hidden divine messages to Ukrainian people.
In 1923, Kostelnik prints in Sremski Karlovci his Grammar of Bach-Rusyn language . This year will mark the new era in cultural life of Rusyns in Vojvodina ( Baиka ). They have got a set of norms, which will help in preserving their native tongue.

Social activity
In his book Boundaries of Democracy, Lviv, 1919, Kostelnik considers human rights and their application in political life of that time. He considers various moral aspects which should have been a benchmark for the new born Ukrainian state, which would last only for a short time. This book was advertised by Ukrainian Catholic clergy, as a must for every citizen "who is interested in social questions of our time".

Some authors claim that his affiliation towards eastern Orthodoxy started, when he got back from Italy in 1925. He undertook a detailed study of historical aspects of papacy and unions of Eastern Churches with Church of Rome, and concluded that Popes unjustly pronounced their primacy over eastern Patriarchs. He also concluded that Union of Brest and Union of Uzhorod, were artificial creations which allowed western nations to take advantage of Ukrainians, making them their servants and slaves.

In 1947, after Andrei Sheptytsky died, Kostelnik will be one of three men of The Initial Committee, which will organize Lviv "Council". The "Council" will "annul" Union with Catholic Church, and declare that all Ukrainian Greek - Catholic Christians are members of Russian Orthodox Church. That will put Greek - Catholic Church in a very hard position. It will have to go to the underground for forty five years.

Death
After he Lviv "Council" was over, Kostelnik got the highest honors a married priest can get. He became archdeacon. At that time he was pastor of Holy Transfiguration parish. On 20 September, 1946, after he completed serving the mass he headed home, which was located near the church. When he was about to open the door, suddenly a man got out of the car and assassinated Kostelnik with a machine gun. After he completed his malicious mission, the assassin committed suicide. He was never identified.

Kostelnik was buried on The Lychakiv Cemetery in Lviv, cemetery where honorable and prominent persons were buried. His funeral was attended, at least according to some Soviet authors, by around 40,000 people. Church leaders decided to inform the highest Soviet administrators of "the great loss" they suffered. Among others, J.V. Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev were contacted.

But who was the assassin ? Was it just a sole action of an individual? Communists tried to convince their citizens that this was action of a western agent who was hired by the Pope, as part of revenge plan against Kostelnik's affiliations towards Eastern (Orthodox ) Church.

Some blamed Ukrainian nationalists, who apparently killed him for treason of Ukrainian Greek - Catholic Church, which always defended Ukrainian rights, and played a key role in forming of Ukrainian identity and politics.

After fall of communism and disintegration of the USSR, the third theory arose. Kostelnik was probably killed by communist apparatus. After Kostelnik broke the relation East - West, shut the influence of the West on the people, Stalin accomplished what he wanted - the absolute ideological power over Ukrainians, and Kostelnik's "mission" was over. But still, he had to pay for his nationalistic, militant anti - communist and anti - Stalinist views of the past. Stalin might have wanted to get rid of Kostelnik in a very delicate manner. In the eyes of the people Kostelnik was made a martyr and a hero. The kind of hero who could not speak and jeopardize Stalin's plans for the future.

http://members.tripod.com/~rdsa/biografeng.html#kovacm


What what I have heard Bishop Augustine is a Russophile. Kostelnik seems to have been a Ukrainian nationalist from his writings. This may be a cry in the wilderness for Augustine.

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Incidentally, Protopresbyter Gabriel's childhood name and adult nick-name was Gabor - which is short for Gabriel. There is no particular reason to insist on calling him "Havriyil" or something of the sort.

Fr. Serge

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Has anyone written a book on Fr. Gabriel Kostelnik?

Also what is the background of Archbishop Augustine of Lviv?

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Has anyone written a book on Fr. Gabriel Kostelnik?

Also what is the background of Archbishop Augustine of Lviv?


Taking these in reverse order -

Archbishop Augustine: he's actually Belarusyn - and married (although the lady in question is not resident in L'viv). L'viv is his first assignment, and as I said yesterday, he is quite bitter and is not good at listening.

Protopresbyter Gabriel: I've thought of doing a book on him. The problem is that much of the material is still inaccessible.

Fr. Serge

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I tend to believe that Protopresbyter Gabriel WAS done in by the Soviets.Fr. Vitaly Sahaydakiwsky in his Ukrainian language autobiography,"Pravdy ne Vtopyty",MENTIONS the forced liquidation of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in 1946 into the MP.It's quite possible that having accomplished this goal,Fr.Gabriel was no longer needed by them.A number of White Army or former Tsarist Army officers switched sides and served in the Red Army,invariably,sooner or later,they were shot or sent to Siberia to die.I believe that there were two other priests also instrumental in the so-called Synod of 1946,I think,one or both became bishops in the MP,while Fr.Gabriel being married,was given the title,'Protopresbyter'.Does anyone know anything about this?

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Wait a minute--I thought that none of the Orthodox had married bishops. Was I mistaken, or is this some kind of special case?

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The one possibility for a married man to become an Orthodox bishop is for both husband and wife to take monastic vows. One takes it for granted that Bishop Augustine has done so; I have never met his wife (nor is there any reason why she would have been introduced to me), but knowing the Moscow Patriarchate's strictness in such matters, I do assume that she has taken monastic vows until and unless somebody proves the contrary. They are certainly not living together, and at any rate in L'viv, there are what used to be known as "witnesses to the Bishop's chastity". I was not implying any misconduct on this point.

The case is unusual, but not unique.

Protopresbyter Gabriel (who is, after all the subject of this thread) sought to advocate that the Russian Orthodox Church should have married bishops - he adduced the example of the Anglicans. I would take it completely for granted that this particular proposal never reached the desk of Patriarch Alexis I; after all the trouble with the "Living Church" this would have been considerably more than the Patriarch was prepared to tolerate.

Not only was Protopresbyter Gabriel murdered; so also was Bishop Michael (Mel'nyk) of Drohobych. Bishop Antony (Pelvetsky) lasted a few years longer, and then also died. Serge Khrutsky, who had been secretary of the "Initiatory Group", and who was Orthodox from his earliest childhood, was arrested right after Protopresbyter Gabriel's death and himself died in Siberia - Memory Eternal. Father Eugene Yuryk, who was a 2nd-level member of the Initiatory Group and who eventually became Russian Orthodox Metropolitan of L'viv, was also arrested soon after Protopresbyter Gabriel's death and disappeared from sight for five years or so. And on, and on.

Fr. Serge

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