Terletsky, Ipolit Volodymyr

Terletsky, Ipolit Volodymyr [Терлецький, Іполіт Володимир; Terlec'kyj] (Terlecki, Hipolit Vladimir), b 1808 in Starokostiantyniv county, Volhynia gubernia, d 17 January 1888 in Odesa. Religious and Pan-Slavist figure. A scion of a Polonized noble family in Volhynia, he studied at the Kremenets Lyceum and Vilnius University (1825–30). After being expelled with other émigrés in 1836, he settled in Montpellier, France, and became part of Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski's Hôtel Lambert circle in Paris. In 1839 Terletsky moved to Rome, where he joined the Polish Resurrectionist Order, was ordained a priest in 1842, and obtained a doctorate in theology in 1843. In 1846 and 1848 he submitted memorandums to Pope Pius IX elaborating a program for unification of the Catholic and Orthodox churches, which included a proposal for the creation of a Ukrainian patriarchate. To that end and with Pius's permission Terletsky became a Byzantine-rite priest and initiated the creation of the Oriental Society for the Union of Churches (1847).

Terletsky published his anonymous historical and militant Catholic treatise Słowo Rusina ku wszej braci szczepu słowiańskiego o rzeczach słowiańskich (A Word of a Ruthenian to All the Brothers of the Slavic Branch about Matters Slavic, 1849). In it he developed the idea of a Slavic federation based on Christian-democratic principles, in which the Ukrainian nation would be an equal partner. In 1850 he became rector of Saints Cyril and Methodius church, the first Byzantine-rite church in Paris. With the support and participation of the archbishop of Paris he established the Oriental Society for the Union of All Christians of the East and an institute for the education of missionary priests. Having fallen out of favor with the Polish émigrés and the Vatican bureaucracy, in 1855 he closed down the institute and donated its books, archives, and possessions to the People's Home in Lviv.

In 1857 Terletsky moved to Lviv, but he was forced to leave by Governor Agenor Gołuchowski, and settled in Transcarpathia. There he entered the Basilian monastic order, contributed occasionally to the newspaper Slovo (Lviv), became a close friend of Oleksander Dukhnovych, and served as hegumen of the Basilian monasteries in Malyi Bereznyi and Krasný Brod. In the 1860s he inspired a clerical movement to purge the Greek Catholic liturgy and rituals of Latin accretions, translated into Ukrainian a book of Józef Bohdan Zaleski's poems (1861) and Thomas à Kempis's Imitation of Christ (1862), and wrote in Ukrainian an account of his travels in the Near East (1861) and a collection of sermons (1862). He was arrested for his Pan-Slavist activities by the Hungarian authorities (1871) and, having been accused of spying for Russia, he was expelled in 1872. After being allowed to return to the Russian Empire he converted to Russian Orthodoxy, lived in Saint Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kyiv, and wrote in Russian a book about the rebirth of Ruthenian national consciousness in Hungarian-ruled Transcarpathia (1874). He then served as the private chaplain at Prince P. Demidov's estate near Florence (1874–9), and he lived from 1881 in Odesa as an archimandrite. His reminiscences were published posthumously in Russkaia starina (vols 63 [1889], 70–1 [1891]).

Ivan Lysiak Rudnytsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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