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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 presided over the Reunion Council in Lviv 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==
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. ''[http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=5186 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. ''[http://militera.lib.ru/memo/russian/sudoplatov_pa/08.html «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 ''[http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/default.asp 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. ''[http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?AddButton=pages\K\O\KostelnykHavryil.htm Kostelnyk, Havryil].'' Encyclopedia of Ukraine, Vol. 2 (1989).)</ref>
In addition, an An official bulletin printed in the ''[http://www.jmp.ru/ Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate]'' (1948, № 10) and signed by Metropolitan Nicholas (Yarushevich) stated that Kostelnik was "killed by an agent of the Vatican."<ref>{{ru icon}} ''[http://www.jmp.ru/ 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>[http://rdsa.tripod.com/biografeng.html Havriil Kostelnik (1886-1948)].</ref>
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