NEW PATRIARCH OF KYIV, UKRAINE ELECTED
- UKRAINIAN AUTOCEPHALOUS ORTHODOX CHURCH - CANONICAL
ELECTS PATRIARCH AND HOLDS ITS FIRST ALL-CHURCH SOBOR
Kyiv - From June 15 through June 17, 2005 Bishops, clergy and
faithful from North America, South America, Europe, Africa and the
Carribean, and representing nearly 40 countries, arrived in Kyiv to
participate in the first Sobor of the Ukrainian Autocephalous
Orthodox Church - Canonical.
The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church - Canonical was
originally established in 1924 with a Tomos issued by His All-
Holiness Gregorios VII, Ecumenical Patriarch, re-establishing the
historic Kyivan-Rus (Ukrainian) Metropolitinate as an Autocephalous
Church, placing the responsibility of establishing a new Synod of
Bishops upon His Beatitude, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Warsaw,
Dionisij Walenynskyj. Through the years, because of the War and its
resulting partitions, the Bishops of the Ukarinain Autocephalous
Orthodox Church - Canonical were forced into exile. In 2002, His
Beatitude Metropolitan Moisey, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Russ-
Ukraine, returned from the diaspora to re-establish the Church in
Ukraine and to unite all the various Churches which had developed in
The principle objective of the Sobor was to affirm the standing of
the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church - Canonical with respect
to the Tomos of 1924 and to call upon the Ecumenical Patriarch and
the other Canonical Orthodox Churches throughout the world to support
its legitimacy both historically and canonically. The other
objectives of the Sobor were to report on and to analyze the growth
and work done by the UAOC-C in its Mother-Church of Ukraine and
throughout the world, to familiarize everyone with the various
situations in which the UAOC-C lives and functions and to recommend
ways in which the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church may grow
and develop in the future.
On Saturday, June 17, the Synod of Bishops elevated Metropolitan
Moisey [Moses Koulik] to the office of Patriarch of the UAOC-C in an
impressive ceremony at the Cathedral of Saint Sophia and enthroned
Patriarch Moisey on Sunday, June 18 at the Cathedral of Saint Sophia.
Afterwards, the new Patriarch, Bishops, clergy and people walked to
the offices of President Victor Yushchenko to symbolically ask for
recognition by the Ukrainian Government. Bishop Ioan of the United
States told reporters: "Despite statements to the contrary by the
government of Ukraine, there is no religious freedom in Ukraine.
President Victor Yushchenko has never responded to the requests of
the UAOC-C for registration, and he has completely ignored the five
letters the Bishops from around the world have written to him.
Yushchenko, whom all our Bishops, as individuals, and the faithful of
our Church, had supported during the Orange Revolution, has
unilaterally attempted to crush us. We have no option other than to
make the suppression of our Church known to the governments of the
United States and the European Union."
The Church is growing rapidly, and, as a result, the Sobor celebrated
the ordinations of Bishop-elect Chrysostomos as Bishop of Ecuador and
Bishop-elect Vsevolod as Bishop of the Ternopilsko-Bukovinska
Eparchy. In addition, Charles Smollen, an American national stationed
at a US Army base in Germany, was ordained to the priesthood by
Patriarch Moisey for service in the Diocese of the Midwest.
From the Press Office of Bishop Ioan
Bishop of the Midwest (USA)