Ukrainian version: “Вже не вигнані” Патріярхат, no. 6  (листопад–грудень 2018), ст. 21–24.
On Saturday, 23 June 2018, the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Westminster solemnly marked the fiftieth anniversary of its opening. For over forty of those years, it was known as “The Holy Family in Exile.” We might say that this cathedral had its origins in two historical events: the forced emigration of Ukrainians from their homeland, during and after the Second World War; and a promise made to them by the Pope. The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church had been outlawed by the Soviet Communists in 1945, but Pope Pius XII defended it and made a promise to preserve the Church abroad and to reconstitute its hierarchy. His Apostolic Constitution, Exsul Familia Nazarethana (The exiled Nazarene [Holy] Family), of 1 January 1952, was part of that promise. Known as the magna carta on migration, it mandated that diocesan bishops had the duty to offer special pastoral care for migrants and displaced persons. Placing the Faith above all, the Pontiff supported he migrants’ desire to maintain their ethnic traditions, language, and gave particular attention to preserving the Rites of the Eastern Churches.Saffron HillUkrainian Catholic immigrants began to form a community in London in 1946. Bishop Ivan Buchko, whom the Pope had appointed as their overseer (apostolic visitor) throughout Western Europe, visited London in January 1947, and sent a permanent pastor two months later. This priest chosen for the mission was Father Josaphat Jean of the Basilian Order, a French-Canadian who had adopted the Byzantine Rite to minister to Ukrainian immigrants in Canada. With the assistance of community leaders, organizations, and the Archbishop of Westminster, Father Jean was able to acquire a small church in Saffron Hill, Farringdon, in July 1948. The first Ukrainian Catholic church in Britain, dedicated to Saint Theodore of Canterbury, was solemnly blessed by Bishop Buchko, on 5 December 1948.Buchko and Jean both considered this first edifice to be temporary, intended to provide a stable place for worship and to gain a foothold in London. From the beginning, however, they foresaw the acquisition of a larger church, once the congregation became stable and better equipped financially. Jean was recalled to Canada in the Summer of 1949. Bishop Buchko replaced him, as his Vicar General for Britain, with Redemptorist Father Volodymyr Malanchuk. The following year, due to ill health, Malanchuk was also transferred to Canada and was succeeded by Monsignor Oleksander Malynovsky. In the early 1960s, the little church in Saffron Hill was rededicated to the Protection of the Mother of God.In only a few years, the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church made significant progress in Great Britain. It acquired churches in several major centres, such as Manchester, Nottingham, and Edinburgh. Through the work of his minister for Eastern Catholic Affairs, Cardinal Eugène Tisserant, Pius XII began to establish missionary dioceses to replace Bishop Buchko’s provisional mission. Apostolic exarchates were established: in England & Wales in 1957, in Germany in 1959, and in France in 1960.Nevertheless, when asked for their opinion in 1954, the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales were not enthusiastic about a special jurisdiction for Ukrainians. In order to soften the blow, Cardinal Tisserant asked the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Griffin, if he would take on this responsibility himself. Griffin agreed but died soon afterwards. His successor, William Godfrey also accepted and was solemnly enthroned as exarch for Ukrainians at the little Saffron Hill church, on 9 November 1957.proposed cathedral 1959The Papal Bull establishing the exarchate, dated 10 June 1957, stated that it needed a cathedral church in London (probably at Bishop Buchko’s suggestion). The project for a cathedral fell to a new Vicar General, Canadian Redemptorist Father Paul Maluga. In March 1958, Godfrey made the first contribution to the cathedral fund of 2000 Guineas (slightly more than 2000 pounds). Maluga commissioned sketches for a new church in the Byzantine style, and the fundraising campaign was inaugurated on 2 December 1959. Despite his Canadian pragmatism, energy, and enthusiasm, Paul Maluga’s project encountered opposition from segments of the local Ukrainian community and even some clergy. In the end, he raised just over 17,000 pounds, which was barely enough to buy London property.Archbishop Godfrey was elevated to the cardinalate at the end of 1958, and was given a Ukrainian-Rite auxiliary bishop in August 1961. Maluga was passed over for a Basilian monastic from the USA, Augustine Hornyak. The bishop’s first solemn Liturgy, on 17 December 1961, had to be held in St Peter’s Clerkenwell (founded for Italian immigrants), since Saffron Hill was woefully inadequate. Godfrey died in January 1963 and, on 18 April, Hornyak was appointed to succeed him. During his enthronement on 6 June, the Apostolic Delegate, Gerald Patrick O’Hara, told Hornyak: “you deserve a better church.” Duncan Street churchThe new exarch abandoned Maluga’s earlier project, deemed unworkable, and chose to acquire an existing church. In May 1963, the exarchate purchased the former Catholic Apostolic Church in Duncan Street, Islington. Hornyak established an advisory committee with members from all over England, together with an executive committee, to plan the necessary extensive renovations and a fundraising campaign. The executive committee was made up of Fathers Vivcharuk, Havryliuk, Orach, Muzychka, Mykhalsky, Professor Robert Lisovsky, Architect Vasyl Boretsky, Engineer Vasyl Oleskiv, and Engineer Malytsky. Boretsky was asked to prepare plans for the alterations to the exterior and interior of the building. However, by August 1964, estimated renovations of the exterior alone had risen from 30,000 to 45,000. In 1965 the bishop decided to demolish the Islington church and build a new structure. But the committee ran into difficulties with the Islington authorities over a church hall and parking space. While waiting for planning permission, Hornyak asked committee members to keep watch for another property.King’s Weigh House bulletin 1902In August 1965, Canon Arthur Rivers, the financial secretary of Westminster Archdicoese, drew Hornyak’s attention to a property in Duke Street, which had recently come onto the market. Formerly the Congregationalist King’s Weigh House Chapel, it was being used as a place of worship for the American Navy, and the hall beneath was gallery for hire. On 27 January 1966, the cathedral committee met at the “Weighouse Gallery” to inspect the building. The asking price was 150,000 pounds, an amount far beyond the Ukrainian Exarchate’s resources. Nevertheless, Bishop Augustine petitioned Rome for permission to purchase it. The Oriental Congregation authorized the purchase in December 1966, and promised to help cover the interest on the loan, if donations from the faithful did not suffice.The Ukrainian Exarchate had deposited its cathedral fund with the Archdiocese of Westminster at a rate of 5% interest, and Canon Rivers had promised that the Archdiocese would grant them a loan, at the same rate. But to Bishop Hornyak’s surprise, when he returned from a trip to United States in November 1966, he discovered that Rivers had left the finance office, and Cardinal Heenan said he was unable to offer the loan directly. Rivers, however, was still able to negotiate a loan from the National Bank Ltd., as Westminster diocesan debt, on behalf of the Exarchate. And the following year, Heenan made a donation of 2,500 pounds, from personal funds.Finding himself in a very difficult situation, Hornyak appealed to the Apostolic Delegate, Igino Cardinale. The Bishop confessed that the cathedral fund was a mere 20,000 pounds, and the only foreseeable solution was to asked for a large subsidy from the Oriental Congregation, as Hornyak wrote on 5 December 1966: