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[[File:Bundesarchiv Bild 137-083713, Lemberg, Innenstadt.jpg|right|thumb|[[w:St. George's Cathedral, Lviv|St. George's Cathedral]], St. George's square, Lviv, 1943.]]
In the midst of the chaos at the end of World War II, Fr. Gabriel and his supporters called for a return to the Mother Orthodox Church. As the pre-war political alignments collapsed around them, Patriarch [[Alexei I (Simansky) of Moscow|Alexei I of Moscow]] welcomed their desire for the return of the Uniate [[clergy]] and faithful to Orthodoxy.<ref group="note">It is important to note that there were precedents in the history of the [[Eastern Catholic Churches|Uniate church]] similar to Father Gabriel's movement. According to Patriarch [[Alexei II (Ridiger) of Moscow]], the [[Union of Brest]], enforced in 1596, retained a strong internal opposition throughout its 400 years which would resolutely break away in favorable times, citing three outstanding examples.
:* "Greek Catholics in Belorussia, Lithuania, Volhynia and Podolia, led by the Uniate bishop Joseph (Semashko) and his colleagues representing the high-ranking Greek Catholic clergy, reunited with the Russian Orthodox Church in 1839.
:* The same was done by Greek Catholics in [[Diocese of Lublin-Chełm|Kholm]] region led by bishop Markell (Popel) in 1875.
:* In 1890, the Uniate priest [[Alexis Toth]] initiated in the USA a process of reunification in which some 90 thousand Greek-Catholic clergy and laity – emigres from Galicia and the Carpathian Rus – reunited with the Mother Church.
:"It was natural that in May 1945, immediately after the victorious end of the Great Patriotic War, an Initiative Group for Reunification of the Greek-Catholic Church with the Russian Orthodox Church was formed to implement the idea for which Father Gabriel suffered so much."</ref>
On [[February 23]], 1946, Metr. John of Kiev received Fr. Gabriel and twelve other priests from the Unia to Orthodoxy. By the end of the month two of these priests, Antoni Pelvetsky and Mykhailo Melnyk, had been consecrated bishops. Over the following months additional priests and [[laity|laypeople]] joined Fr. Gabriel's movement.<ref group="note">A criticism of Fr. Gabriel by [[Eastern Catholic Churches|Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholic]] priest Christopher Lawrence Zugger argues that:<br>