50th anniversary of the liberation of Patriarch Josyf Slipyj from Soviet labour camps commemorated in London

February 2013 marks the 50thanniversary of the release of Patriarch Josyf Slipyj, Head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, who was sent to a Soviet concentration camp in

Patriarch Slipyj and Fr Iwan Dacko


1945, where he subsequently spent 18 years in a number of prisons and labour camps across Siberia and over other hostile parts the Soviet Union, persecuted for his faith.

He was liberated in 1963, thanks to the efforts of Pope John XXIII and American journalist Norman Cousins, an adviser to President J.F. Kennedy, following the Cuban missile crisis.

On Friday, February 15th 2013, Monsignor Iwan Dacko, who was personal secretary to the Patriarch for nearly a decade, held a talk at the Ukrainian Institute in London entitled The First Steps of Freedom – the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Patriarch Josyf Slipyj.

Fr. Iwan focused his talk on the first weeks of the Patriarch’s life after being released. He spoke on the main individuals involved in the release of the septuagenarian prisoner persecuted for his faith, especially Pope John XXIII, Nikita Khrushchev, American journalist Norman Cousins who was an adviser to President JF Kennedy.

To view photos of the London talk click here