Patriarch Josyf Slipyj was the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church from 1944 to 1984
From the UCEF Bulletin, March 16, 2017 – updated Mar 28, 2017
On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the birth of Patriarch Josyf Slipyj, UCU’s Institute of Church History organized a series of scholarly symposia “Patriarch Josyf Slipyj Known and Unknown” in various cities of Ukraine. The travelling scholarly sessions were held in Poltava, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Chernivtsi, Uzhhorod, and Odesa.
[Note: Patriarch Josyf Slipyj was the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church from 1944 to 1984. More detailed information is available in the Ukrainian language on the website of the Institute of Church History (httpichistory.org.ua)
The first meeting was held at Poltava National Pedagogical University in central Ukraine. Among the speakers were Prof. Lyudmila Babenko of PNPU. She tried to reveal the mechanism of direct and hidden pressure by the agents of the special services to convince the metropolitan to cooperate with the totalitarian regime. It was interesting to hear the “psychological portrait” of the patriarch that the KGB agents developed proud, sometimes aloof, uncompromising and unbroken. The interrogators even complained that they couldn’t hit this man, for no methods of frightening him seemed to work.
The second meeting was in northeastern Ukrainian Kharkiv on 7 March. For a short time, the patriarch was in a prison in Kharkiv, waiting to be taken to the labor camps. Among those who gave reports were Archbishop Ihor Isichenko of Kharkiv and Poltava, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, and Myroslav Marynovych, former dissident and current vice-rector of UCU.
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