Tuesday, December 18, 2007

RIP Archbishop Vsevolod
The walls which divide us... do not reach up to heaven.
— Paraphrased from Metropolitan Platon of Kiev

Earlier I repeated the news that he had leukæmia but thought he was getting better. What a loss. This dear man — heard him speak and met him once — embodied his native tradition (he was a Ukrainian from Poland with a marvellous accented bass voice matching his Santa appearance: here he’s in the monk’s habit common to Orthodox bishops) and had not one hint of hostility to Western Catholicism. (Why would he? He had nothing to prove.) A true ecumenist and bridge-builder. He once served the Liturgy (celebrated Mass) above St Peter’s tomb in the crypt of the church of that name in the Vatican.

He once wrote half-jokingly that if Irish-Americans hadn’t treated Galician and Ruthenian immigrants so badly his American diocese probably wouldn’t exist.

May his memory be eternal.

We’ll miss you, Владико (my lord). (Ukrainian like Slavonic — Владыко — has the vocative case.)

From Cathedra Unitatis.

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