The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky, to observe that those acts would "destroy in the souls of our non-united Orthodox brothers the very thought of any possible reunion."
Aren't you the one-sided expert, Harry? Now read this.
The pre-war metropolis in Lwów and two suffragan bishopric in Stanisławów and Przemyśl had altogether 3615 churches and 2380 diocesan priests. There were similar numbers of nuns and monks. They were all incorporated into the Ortodox Church. The local Greco-Catholic churches were converted into storages, usually salt storages, as salt easily destroys the walls and interiors of buildings. The priests had to sign loyalty declarations. Those who refused were immediately arrested. Among them - priest Raczenko from Husiatyn ...
Andrej Szeptycki, even though he had dreamt about uniting the Easter churches, protested before the war against incorporation of the Orthodox Church to the Catholic Church by force. Now, the Orthodox Church, obedient to Stalin, did not have these problems with the Uniates.
Fortunately, the metropolitan Szeptycki did not live to see it. He died on November 4, 1944 - just before the so-called the Unification Synod on March 5-10, 1945. It was set at the 350th anniversary of the Brześć Union. Under the huge pressure from NKVD the Grecko-Catholic hierarchy was forced to join the Orthodox Church. The metropolitan Józef Slipyj, his general vicar bishop Nikita Budko, bishop Mikołaj Czarnecki, bishop Hrehory Chomyszyn, and the coadjutor Jan Latyszewski were arrested on April 25, 1945. In March next year there was the trial in Kijów, where they were convicted to many years of gulag for treason and collaboration with Germans. In the same time the PRL authorities gave away bishop Józef Kocyłowski and his suffragan Hrehory £akota from Przemyśl to Soviet Union, after jailing them for one year.
Hrehory Chmyszyn died in gulag in unknown circumstances. Cardinal Józef Slipyj, considered the martyr of the Church, was drawn out of the gulag by the Pope Jan XXIII in 1962, after long negotiations with Soviet Union. He returned west after 18 years in gulags, and took againg his previous position in Rome.
- Jarosław Abramow Newerly, Granica Sokoła - quoting ks. prof. dr. Roman Dzwonkowski SAC, Przegląd Wschodni - the expert on history of Catholic Church in Soviet Union and of the sociology of the ethnic groups