|Major Archbishop of Lviv|
Cardinal Slipyj in Australia in 1968
|Church||Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church|
|Appointed||1 November 1944|
|Term ended||7 September 1984|
|Ordination||30 Sep 1917 (Priest)|
|Consecration||22 Dec 1939 (Bishop)
by Andrey Sheptytsky
|Created Cardinal||22 February 1965|
|Birth name||Йосип Сліпий|
|Born||17 February 1892
|Died||September 7, 1984
|Buried||St. George's Cathedral, Lviv
He was born in village of Zazdrist, Galicia (in modern Ternopil oblast), then a crownland of Austria-Hungary. He studied at the Lviv Greek-Catholic Seminary and Innsbruck University in Austria, before being ordained a priest on 30 June 1917. From 1920 to 1922, he studied in Rome at the Pontifical Oriental Institute, the Collegio Angelico (Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum), and the Pontifical Gregorian University. He returned to Lwów (Lviv), by then part of Second Polish Republic, and taught at the seminary, eventually becoming its rector.
On 22 December 1939, with the blessing of Pope Pius XII, Slipyj was ordained archbishop of Serrae and Coadjutor Archbishop of Lviv with the right of succession. The ordination was conducted by Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky in secrecy due to the Soviet presence and the political situation.
Slipyj became the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church on 1 November 1944, following Sheptytsky's death.
After Soviet troops captured Lviv, Josyf Slipyj lamented in his letter to the clergy of the city dated 23 November 1944 about his wish of peace and victory to the Union of Soviet Republics. Slipyj was arrested along with other bishops in 1945 by the NKVD, convicted to penal servitude, allegedly for collaboration with the Nazi regime. This was the first step in the planned liquidation of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church by Soviet authorities. After being jailed in Lviv, Kiev, and Moscow, a Soviet court sentenced him to eight years of hard labor in the Siberian Gulag.
At this time Soviet authorities forcibly convened an assembly of 216 priests, and on 9 March 1946 and the following day, the so-called "Synod of Lviv" was held in St. George's Cathedral. The Union of Brest, the council at which the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church formally entered into ecclesiastic communion with the Holy See, was revoked. The Church was forcibly "rejoined" to the Russian Orthodox Church.
Slipyj's prison writings managed to circulate. In 1957 Pope Pius XII sent him a congratulatory letter on the 40th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. It was confiscated, and also on account of his circulating writings, he was sentenced to seven more years in prison. On 23 January 1963, he was freed by Nikita Khrushchev's administration after political pressure from Pope John XXIII and United States President John F. Kennedy. He arrived in Rome in time to participate in the Second Vatican Council.
In 1949 he had been secretly (in pectore) named a cardinal by Pope Pius XII, but in 1965 he was named publicly, and appointed Cardinal-Priest of Sant'Atanasio. At the time he was the 4th cardinal in Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church history. Beginning in 1963 many Ukrainian bishops lobbied for Slipyj to be named patriarch, but Pope Paul VI refused, instead creating the new office of major archbishop and appointing Slipyj as its first incumbent on 23 December 1963. In 1977 Slipyj consecrated Ivan Choma, Stepan Czmil and Lubomyr Husar as bishops without approval of the pope in an act of exposition of patriarchal aspirations. These consecrations caused much annoyance to the Roman Curia as episcopal consecrations without papal permission are considered illicit in Roman Canon Law but not Eastern Canon Law.
His cause for canonisation has been introduced at Rome.
The Shoes of the Fisherman
Slipyj's life story inspired the Australian writer Morris West's 1963 novel The Shoes of the Fisherman. West's protagonist is Kiril Pavlovich Lakota, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Lviv, who is freed by the Soviet Premier after twenty years in a Siberian labor camp. He is sent to Rome, where an elderly pope makes him a cardinal. The Pontiff dies, and Lakota finds himself elected Pope, taking the name Kiril I (a rare use of baptismal name as a papal name). The novelty of a Ukrainian pope in a post-Cuba Missile Crisis, Cold War world led to the book being featured on the New York Times Best Seller list. It was the number 1 bestseller of the entire year on the Publishers Weekly fiction list.
Hollywood's film version appeared in 1968, starring Anthony Quinn as Lakota/Kiril I and Laurence Olivier as the (fictional) URSS Premier Piotr Ilyich Kamenev (and Lakota's jailer). It was nominated for two Academy Awards.
Many today regard The Shoes of the Fisherman as prophetic because it preceded by 15 years the election of Karol Józef Wojtyła as Pope John Paul II, the first Slavic pope as well as one from a Communist nation, noting even the Kiril/Karol similarity of names. However, Slipyj, the true model for the fictional protagonist, is rarely mentioned in these critical appraisals.
- http://archive.khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1113997592 Accessed 21, 7, 2013
- Bociurkiw, B.R., The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Soviet State (1939–1950). CIUS Press, 1996.
- Pelikan, Jaroslav, Confessor Between East and West. W.B. Eerdmans Publishing. 1990.
- Religious Information Service of Ukraine: Patriarch Josyf Slipiy
- Cardinal Title S. Atanasio Giga Catholic Information
- David Cheney. "Josyf Ivanovycè Cardinal Slipyj (Slipiy)". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- Apostolische Nachfolge: Ukraine. German site of CSSp Province
- Pelikan, Jaroslav (1990). Confessor Between East and West. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. ISBN 0-8028-3672-0.
|Catholic Church titles|
|Major Archbishop of Lviv
Myroslav Ivan Lubachivsky