LVOV : A Prelate Returns

After more than half a century of exile, the spiritual leader of the long-suppressed Ukrainian Catholic Church returns to the Soviet Union on Saturday to take possession of his See.

Cardinal Myroslav Ivan Lubachivsky, who spent more than 30 years of his priesthood in the United States, flies by charter from Rome to Lvov in the western Ukraine, where he is expected to receive a tumultuous welcome by the patient faithful of a church officially banned by dictator Josef Stalin in 1946.

Despite the murder and imprisonment of its priests and bishops, and decades of police harassment, the Ukrainian church, an Eastern Rite in full communion with Rome, now counts around 5 million formerly clandestine members, and around 1,000 priests, in the Ukraine.

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