I ranees Gumlev The split in the Ukrainian Church between those who want Cardinal Slipyj to be created patriarch and those who support Bishop Augustin Hornyak, the Apostolic Exarch for Ukrainians in Britain, intensified at the weekend when violent scuffles broke out at a church in Gloucester.
Bishop Hornyak, who had been invited to consecrate the new church of the Good Shepherd, where his spectacles were smashed and his head bruised, admitted on Tuesday that the trouble within the Ukrainian Church was likely to continue throughout the lifetime of 84-year-old Cardinal Slipyj.
Only last week the Vatican issued a declaration condemning those who withhold their support from Bishop Hornyak in favour of Cardinal Slipyj, the Archbishop Major of Lvov, who wants to be recognised as Patriarch over all Ukrainians throughout the world. An unauthorised church has been set up in Halifax recently with the blessing of Cardinal Slipyj but without any permission from the British hierarchy.
When Bishop Hornyak arrived at the Good Shepherd on Sunday, he was greeted by a mob of about 500 chanting protesters, who would not allow him to enter the church. He tried to make his way through the crowd but was beaten back and forced to retreat to the safety of his car.
The crowd carried placards denouncing the bishop as a traitor to the Ukrainian nation. Many people, armed with sticks and umbrellas, stretched over the heads of the 50 policemen protecting the Ukrainian Church leader to batter him
Continued from page 1 over the head, Many women and children — including first communicants — became hysterical as the protesters sup ged forward and tore at the coats of priests attempting to enter the church.
The consecration of the church continued without Bishop Hornyak. Bishop Mervyn Alexander of Clifton, the local bishop, officiated instead. When the ceremony was over more fighting broke out. By the end of the day several people includina. detective e woman inddul. ...le scuffles. op .,e omanli was arrested for throwing an egg at Sr Basil, Bishop Hornyak 's own sister.
After the demonstration Bishop Hornyak explained that protestors had been backed by the Ukrainian Revolutionary Nationalist Group whose motives were political rather than religious. The Bishop completed the consecration ceremonies early on Monday morning. Commenting on Sunday's violent scenes the Bishop said he had been saddened and shaken by the demonstration, He added, "The people behaved as if obsessed and filled with hate. They claim I am a traitor but I am not betraying anyone. I am not against the idea of a patriarchate but it would have to be created by the Pope. "I was one of those who prepared the petition requesting the patriarchate in [969 but I accept the Pope's refusal to grant one. I do not accept Cardinal Slipyj's claims of universal jurisdiction.
"Many of the people at the Gloucester demonstration were not local, they came from Derby and Wolverhampton sonic were members of the Secret Security of the .Ukrainian Revolutionary Nationalist Group. Stewards with loudhailers were telling people to obey the police in English but when they used Ukrainian they were urging people to continue fighting.
"By laying violent hands on a bishop they could expose themselves to the penalty of excommunication."
Extreme anti-Soviet pressure groups have caused increasing friction within the Ukrainian community during the past few years. Supporters of Cardinal Slipyj claim that the Vatican refusal to grant the patriarchate arises only from a fear of harming Ostpolitik.
The Vatican has repeatedly refused the request for the patriarchate on "pastoral and canonical reasons". Patriarchs normally have jurisdiction over a specific geographical area but this would be impossible in the case of the Ukrainians because they are dispersed all over the world.
Mr Bohdodan Myrolub, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Association for Great Britain explained: "The trouble at Gloucester was not part of a planned concerted campaign. It was a spontaneous protest by the Ukrainian people against Bishop Hornyak, whom they regard as a traitor."
He stressed: "We remain loyal to the Pope in faith but we want the Cardinal to be allowed to take over the administrations for Ukrainians throughout the world. He would have his own staff, distinct from the Curia, but in Rome."
On Tuesday Bishop Hornyak said he found Mr Myrolub's protestations of spontaneity hard to believe. The police had been informed that there was going to be a "peaceful" picket of 100 more than a week ago. An appeal against the planned picket was made last Friday by Fr Stefan Wiwcharuk.
After the Vatican's declaration on the Ukrainian problem last week, Bishop Hornyak was not optimistic about the healing of the split. He commented: "Some will remember their loyalty to the Pope but there will be others — victims of confusion — who will not give up but will wait in vain for the recognition of the patriarchate."
Mr Myrolub agreed that it was unlikely that the trouble was at an end. Cardinal Slipyj's supporters take the uncompromising attitude that there could be no settlement until Bishop Hornyak changes his mind and recognises the Cardinal asatriarch in defiance of the Vaptican.
The Cardinal is an emotive figure — the focus of Ukrainian nationalists' aspirations as well as their spiritual leader. Ile is the sole survivor of the indigenous Ukrainian hierarchy and has spent nearly 20 years in Soviet prisons. It would be very hard to find a successor with the same identification with the sufferings of the Ukraine and the same emotional appeal.
See Letters, page 4