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Cardinal Lubomyr Husar: Profile of a Candidate for Pope

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Who is Cardinal Lubomyr Husar?:

Lubomyr Husar was born in Lviv, Ukraine, on February 26, 1933. He emigrated in 1944 to the United States.

Background and Early Life of Lubomyr Husar:

Lubomyr Husar was ordained a priest on March 30, 1958, and while studying in Rome he joined the Studite order. He was consecrated bishop in 1977, but secretly in order not to upset the Russian Orthodox Church or the Soviet government.

Current Status of Lubomyr Husar:

Lubomyr Husar has been Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and cardinal since January 28, 2001.

Theology of Lubomyr Husar:

Lubomyr Husar is theologically moderate. He defends conservative tradition when it comes to matters of doctrine, but coming from an Eastern tradition gives him a perspective interpreted by many as somewhat progressive.

Assessment of Lubomyr Husar:

Lubomyr Husar holds a U.S. passport which hurts his chances because of the cardinals’ desire not to elect a pope from a political superpower. Because he heads a Ukrainian church, though, that may not matter. Coming from the East also hurts his chances because the cardinals will be disinclined to elect another pope from the same region.

At the same time, though, Lubomyr Husar brings many qualifications that should appeal to the electing cardinals. He is a strong supporter of the independence of local churches. He could more readily reach out to Eastern Orthodox churches — aside from dealing with the challenges of Islam, achieving some measure of unity with Orthodox Christianity ranks very high on the list of goals for Catholic leaders in the coming century.

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