February 26, 2013. (Romereports.com)
When Cardinal Lubomyr Husar
resigned in 2011 as the Major Archbishop for the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church
, it was a historic occasion. It was the first time in the Church's history that their leader had voluntarily stepped down.
In an ironic twist of faith, Cardinal Husar will not be among the electors for the next Pope, after Benedict XVI announced his own resignation. He will turn 80 on February 26, just two days before the start of the Sede Vacante
, making him the only cardinal to lose his right to vote in the conclave since the announcement.
The former Church head, who participated in the 2005 conclave, offered praise in the past for Benedict XVI for addressing the persecution of Ukrainian Greek Catholics, a topic that remains very relevant for many Christians today.CARD. LUBOMYR HUSAR
Major Archbishop Emeritus of Kiev-Galicia “Not only I personally but our entire group wished to thank the Holy Father, and in his person, his predecessors and his collaborators, for what the Church of Rome has done for our Church especially in the period of our silence, forced silence.”
He served for six years as the Major Archbishop for the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church
, the largest of the Eastern Churches in full communion with Rome.
During that time, his failing eyesight forced to recite liturgical ceremonies by memory, and ultimately, to resign.
Having stepped down willingly, Cardinal Husar also became the first leader of his Church to witness the installation of his successor. Whether Benedict XVI will follow his example, remains unclear today.