Statement on the Death of Josyf Cardinal Slipyj

September 14, 1984

It is with deep sense of loss that I acknowledge the death of Josyf Cardinal Slipyj, Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, and extend my condolences to Ukrainians throughout the world.

When we remember Cardinal Slipyj's 18 years in Soviet prison camps, when we reflect that he was condemned to the gulag because he refused to betray his church, we see the power and strength of the human spirit brought clearly into focus.

Even after release from that long imprisonment, Cardinal Slipyj's spirit and energy were not lessened. Between his release in 1963 and his death at the age of 92, he traveled the world to visit Ukrainian Catholics and visited President Ford here in the White House. He established a Ukrainian Catholic seminary, built the impressive St. Sophia Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Catholic University. Recently, he was deeply involved in the planning of a worldwide celebration for the millenium of Christianity in Ukraine to take place in 1988.

Cardinal Slipyj's commitment to God and the freedom of men was unshakable, despite punishment and exile for his beliefs. Because of his inspired life, he has long been a symbol of the strength of God and human spirit. He will remain such, cherished not only by Ukrainians, but by men and women of good will in all nations.