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Gabriel Kostelnik

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On [[September 20]], 1948, after the [[Divine Liturgy]] Fr. Gabriel was attacked on the steps of the [[w:Church of Transfiguration, Lviv|Cathedral of the Transfiguration in Lvov]] and killed by one, Vasily Pankiv a political terrorist, who killed himself immediately after his deadly assault. According to the official Soviet version, he was a member of the terrorist group led by [[w:Roman Shukhevych|Roman Shukhevich]], chief of the Ukrainian Rebel Army (UPA).<ref name=Interfax>Interfax-Religion. ''[ The initiator of elimination of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church could be canonized].'' 23 September 2008, 12:16.</ref><ref>{{ru icon}} Из мемуаров Петра Судоплатова. ''[ «Военная Литература» Мемуары: Глава 8. «Холодная война» - Дорога к Ялте и начало мирного противостояния].''</ref> However, representatives of the UPA denied any involvement in the murder. The ''[ Encyclopedia of Ukraine]'' argues that although "Soviet authorities have blamed his murder on the Vatican and Ukrainian nationalists, the evidence suggests that the assassination was masterminded by the Soviet police."<ref>Bohdan R. Bociurkiw. ''[\K\O\KostelnykHavryil.htm Kostelnyk, Havryil].'' Encyclopedia of Ukraine, Vol. 2 (1989).)</ref>
In addition, an official bulletin printed in the ''[ Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate]'' (1948, № 10) and signed by Metropolitan Nicholas (Yarushevich) states stated that Kostelnik was "killed by an agent of the Vatican."<ref>{{ru icon}} ''[ Журнал Московской Патриархии].'' 1948, № 10, стр. 9.</ref>
Fr. Gabriel was buried in the [[w:Lychakiv Cemetery|Lychakov cemetery]] in Lvov. 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.<ref>[ Havriil Kostelnik (1886-1948)].</ref>

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