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Gabriel Kostelnik

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[[File:Gavriil Kostelnik.jpg|right|thumb|Protopresbyter Gabriel Kostelnik (1866-1948) as a Uniate priest.]]
The New [[Hieromartyr]] Protopresbyter Dr. '''Gabriel Kostelnik''', also '''Havryil Kostelnyk''', '''Havriil Kostelnik''' or '''Gabriel of Galicia''' ({{ru icon}} Костельник, Гавриил Фёдорович, {{sr icon}} Хавријил Костељник, June 15, 1886 - [[September 20]], 1948) was a Carpatho-Russian [[priest]] who returned to the [[Orthodox Church]] soon after the end of World War II. He was an outstanding church leader, theologian, philosopher, religious publicist, poet, playwright and prose-writer,.<ref name=DECR>Russian Orthodox Church: Official Website of the Department for External Church Relations. ''[http://www.mospat.ru/archive/en/ne081285.htm 50th anniversary of the martyrdom of Protopresbyter Gabriel Kostelnik].'' 8.12.1998.</ref> and In March 1946 he presided over the controversial Reunion Council in Lvov in March 1946 (''Lvov Assembly / Lviv Sobor'') calling for the return of all [[Uniates]] to the Orthodox Faith, before he was assassinated during the political and religious turmoil of the late 1940s.
==Life==
[[Eastern Catholic Churches|Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholic]] priest Christopher Lawrence Zugger argues that Father Gabriel was motivated partly from the hope of saving his son (who, he had been told was a prisoner of the Soviets), partly out of anti-[[Latinization|Latin Catholic]] feelings, and partly out of conviction.<ref>Rev. Christopher Lawrence Zugger. ''"[http://books.google.ca/books?id=HnUnJ7X10BMC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false The Forgotten: Catholics of the Soviet empire from Lenin through Stalin]."'' Syracuse University Press, 2001. p.423.)</ref> The ''[http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/default.asp Encyclopedia of Ukraine]'' adds that Fr. Gabriel's theological position made him a target of NKVD pressure and blackmail during the 1939–41 Soviet occupation of Galicia, when the authorities first tried unsuccessfully to have him organize an ‘away from Rome’ schism in the Ukrainian Catholic church; and when the Soviets reoccupied Galicia in 1944 and arrested the entire Ukrainian Catholic episcopate, he was finally compelled to assume chairmanship of the Initiating Committee for the Reunification of the Greek Catholic Church with the Russian Orthodox Church.<ref name="UKRAINIAN"/>
In sum, the religious movement which started with the anti-[[Latinization]] orientation among the Greek Catholic clergy led by Fr. Gabriel, and which culminated in the state-sponsored Synod of Lvov, came occured at the same time that the political atmosphere in the area changed, as the remnants of the Nazi regimes, various nationalistic groups, the Bolshevik forces, and religious differences all collided with the sincerity of the people. In that environment, many of the clergy and laypeople returning to Orthodoxy became victims of fanatics, both religious and political.
===Death===
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