The Catholic University of America mourns the passing of Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, major archbishop of Kyiv-Halyč, Ukraine, and retired head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, who died June 1, 2017, at the age of 84. Cardinal Husar was a University alumnus and the recipient of an honorary degree in 2007.
Catholic University bestowed upon Cardinal Husar the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, describing him as “an example to all Christians called to place their trust in the Lord.”
“We mourn the passing of Cardinal Husar, a loyal son of the Church and a friend of Catholic University,” said President John Garvey. “We will remember him for his ecumenical work with the Orthodox churches and other Christian and non-Christian groups and for his concern for the world’s marginalized.”
Born on Feb. 26, 1933, in Lviv, he fled with his family during World War II to Austria and then to the United States. Cardinal Husar, of the Ukrainian Studite Monks, was ordained for the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stamford in Connecticut on March 30, 1958.
He taught in the seminary and served as a parish priest in Kehonkson, N.Y. After earning a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome, he served as superior of the Studites in Grottaferrata, Italy. He was ordained a bishop in 1977 and was named archimandrite of Studite monks residing outside Ukraine in 1978.
In 1994 he organized a new Studite monastery in Ternopil, Ukraine. Two years later he was confirmed bishop, nominated to the titular church of Nisa di Licia, and elected exarch of Kyiv-Vyshhorod. Later that year the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church elected him as auxiliary of the major archbishop of Lviv.
In 2001 the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Church elected him major archbishop of Lviv for Ukrainians. He was also named a cardinal that year. In June 2001, Cardinal Husar welcomed Pope John Paul II to Ukraine, on the Polish Pope’s first visit to a former Soviet republic.
In December 2004, the Major Archbishopric of Lviv changed its name to Kyiv-Halyč and was transferred to Ukraine’s capital city. The following year, Cardinal Husar took part in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Husar served as major archbishop until Feb. 10, 2011. He served as president of the Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church from 2001 to 2011.