Pope Benedict has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, the Patriarch of Kyiv-Halych and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
“Today, when I no longer have sufficient strength, I wish to handover the leadership (of our Church) to a successor, who would effectively continue this work. For this is not my work (alone) and I am not the key factor. The Church is the key factor, and the goal of our work is service to the Church, we strive to fulfil this task, as long we can do so effectively,” said Patriarch Lubomyr, who turns 78 on Feb 26, according to a media release from the Australian Ukrainian Eparchy.
“I will continue to do that which I am able to do. I will pray for the Church, reflect on the past, to be vigilant so that nothing from our Church’s past is lost. I would like to hold encounters with the youth, as well as with various professional groups.”
Most Reverend Ihor Vozniak C.Ss.R, Archbishop of Lviv (Ukraine) has been appointed Administrator of the Patriarchal Church. It will be his responsibility to convoke a Synod of the Ukrainian (Greek) Catholic Bishops to elect a new leader.
Bishop Peter Stasiuk C.Ss.R, the current Eparch of Ukrainian Catholics in Australia said “Patriarch Lubomyr was the right man for the job at a very critical time for the church. The church in Ukraine had just come out of the underground about 10 years before then. He led the church through the critical rebuilding era. As Canon Law requires, he moved the seat of government of our church from Lviv to Kyiv. He was commonly referred to as the most trusted moral authority in Ukraine today.”
Ukrainian Catholic Bishops from around the globe will be gathering in Lviv, Ukraine, beginning March 18, for a special Synod called to elect a successor. The more than 45 members of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church represent not only the Church in Ukraine, but also local churches in North and South America, Australia, as well as in Western and Eastern Europe.
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI accepts resignation of His Beatitude Lubomyr Cardinal Husar