The Head of the Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church

who is the head of the holy ukrainian orthodox church

The holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church is led by a hierarch from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), serving as spiritual leader to its parishes across Ukraine. UOC is one of the world’s largest Orthodox churches with one of the highest attendance numbers among its parishioners compared to all Orthodox Christians worldwide.

Patriarch Filaret

Filaret was elected the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate in 1995 and quickly rose to become a notable figure within Soviet Russia as an Orthodox Christian leader who had to contend with multiple conflicts as an authority figure.

His duties and responsibilities encompass protecting Ukraine in its current war with Russia as well as maintaining unity within the Orthodox church worldwide. His main task as head of church is ensuring all Ukrainian Orthodox churches join together and that all Ukrainians feel welcome within them.

Filaret has long advocated for his church to merge into one national church, with his relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church being tenuous, with accusations being levelled that he is an agent for KGB recruitment, and also that he may have had an extramarital affair in violation of monastic vows.

He has made multiple attempts but without success to gain canonical recognition for his church, which he believes can preserve unity among Orthodox Christians in Ukraine. Unfortunately, since Epifaniy was installed as head of OCU more than five years ago he has had no contact.

He was widely criticized for his comments in March about the coronavirus pandemic as being God’s punishment for gay marriage, with Ukranian LGBTQ+ group Insight filing suit against him in April for these comments, alleging they could cause hatred and discrimination towards LGBT people.

Archbishop Ihor

Archbishop Ihor, head of the Kharkiv and Poltava Eparchy of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) since 2005, is well known across Ukraine for his active participation in ecumenical and scientific endeavors as well as being involved with numerous local and international projects.

He serves as an associate professor of Theological Anthropology at Lviv’s University of the Holy Spirit and received a doctorate honoris causa based on Byzantine moral and theological traditions. Ordained both as deacon on May 21 and priest on June 26, 1994,

Born 5 May 1970 in Striy, Ukraine, Ihor studied philosophy and theology for two years at Don Bosko Centre for Philosophy and Theology in Buenos Aires before attending Holy Spirit Seminary in Lviv from 1992-1994. He was then ordained a deacon by Bishop Fylymon Kurchaba and priest by His Beatitude Myroslav Cardinal Lubachivsky respectively.

Ihor was named managing administrator when the UAOC and UOC-KP reunited, and later was elected to its National Council.

His duties include overseeing the work of the UAOC and its eparchies, as well as maintaining positive relations between Western eparchies and Moscow’s Patriarchate of Moscow. In addition, he serves as delegate to the International Commission for Unity of Churches as well as membership on its Synod of Eastern Orthodox Bishops.

He maintains close ties with the Ukrainian Catholic Church and has visited Canada multiple times, most recently to commemorate the centennial anniversary of a Ukrainian Catholic bishop’s first trip here 100 years ago. Furthermore, he runs a seminary in Lviv that specializes in Christian anthropology studies.

Archbishop Myroslav

Archbishop Myroslav of Ukraine Orthodox Church is an individual of great faith and compassion who has dedicated his life to serving God, His Church and his nation.

He is revered by millions of Ukrainian Catholics worldwide as their leader and has become a hero to the Vatican for his fight to preserve the Greek Catholic church from liquidation in 1946 under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, when all churches and chapels were ordered destroyed by him.

He is responsible for leading the Orthodox church in fulfilling its mission to bring Christ to those searching for Him, while encouraging vocations among Ukrainians. Additionally, he must ensure there are enough priests serving both their faithful members and wider communities.

Recently, he has been seen in the media advocating on behalf of Ukraine against Russian aggression, while at the same time criticizing Russia’s handling of this conflict.

The Ukrainian Church separated from the Moscow Patriarchate over Russian aggression towards Crimea and support for separatists in Donbas. Autocephaly or independence was awarded in 2019.

On September 7th 2018, Saint Nicholas Eparchy hosted a Divine Liturgy at their cathedral with over 1,500 participants coming from parishes throughout North America and Ukraine. Many bishops and priests from St. Nicholas Eparchy participated in this monumental liturgy including Patriarch Lubomyr and Metropolitan-Archbishop Stefan Soroka who led this divine service at their cathedral.

Archbishop Pavlo

Archbishop Pavlo Vysotskyi was honored to be appointed deacon at Saint Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary in Chicago on September 10, 2022 by Metropolitan Antony (Scharba) of the United States and Archbishop Daniel (Zelinsky) of the US Diocese of the Holy Trinity and was joined in this occasion by family, clergy and congregation members of his parish church.

His Eminence Metropolitan Antony addressed His Eminence Metropolitan Pavlo at his ordination ceremony, discussing their responsibilities of service to God with love and reverence for Him as they carry out this role of deaconship. He spoke of our lives being lived within communities and encouraged Deacon Pavlo to lead by example within the Church community.

He stressed the significance of our vocations being part of God’s work, and encouraged Deacon Pavlo to live life full of passion for him and his mission, like St. Job did in the Old Testament.

His duties involve helping his eparchy fulfill its obligations, contributing to the work of the Synod, attending Eparchial Councils and clergy retreats, as well as working closely with Patriarch Constantinople in developing ecumenical relations between Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Archbishop Ignatius

Ignatius of Antioch, better known by his Greek moniker Theophorous, dedicated his life to Christ and the Church. As bishop of Antioch during Emperor Trajan’s repressive campaign against religion, he died defending his faith under persecution by Roman authorities.

He was an accomplished author, leaving behind seven letters that are still used today as authoritative guides by Christians worldwide. These letters cover such topics as Church structure and function; priestly roles; how to live as an Orthodox Christian; etc.

Ignatius taught that three fundamental truths of Christianity, namely the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus were essential elements in living eternally with Him in heaven. For him it was imperative that the church convey this information to its members if it wanted them to become better disciples for Jesus Christ.

As part of his capture during Antioch’s persecution of Christians, Ignatius was taken prisoner and transported by soldiers of Emperor Domitian to Troas in northwestern Asia Minor where many other Christians came out to greet and support him. Here he found many who came forward to provide for his needs.

He then set out on his journey to Rome, where he would ultimately be executed by Emperor Trajan’s soldiers on October 17, 107. Along the way were delegations from Asia Minor that traveled with him from town to town.

Archbishop Daniel

Archbishop Daniel is an appointed bishop for the Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church and oversees daily operations within its United States presence, traveling regularly to Ukraine to aid and assist its faithful. Additionally, he encourages all faithful to take an active role in supporting their Church’s mission and become involved within their local communities.

Archbishop Daniel, as leader of the UOC, is responsible for assuring the wellbeing and safety of church members as well as creating unity across its various branches.

Over many years, he has traveled to Ukraine on missions and provided millions of dollars’ worth of aid to its faithful, rebuilding churches, opening soup kitchens and offering medical support services.

The Catholic Church is one of the world’s oldest and largest organizations, boasting membership from more than 4 million individuals and employing over 2,000 priests worldwide. Additionally, its churches and parishes can be found in over 20 different nations worldwide.

Archbishop Antony of South Bound Brook, New Jersey ordained him on May 12, 2001 and appointed him editor-in-chief of Ukrainian Orthodox Word (UOW), the official publication of UOC.

Archbishop Daniel was called upon to serve in South Sudan under difficult conditions that required him to play multiple roles and serve as mediator between various groups. High expectations from local populations, politicians and tribal communities existed alongside conflicts between Christians and non-Christians that affected his nation’s political landscape and civil war. Against all odds he prevailed through it all and eventually saw peace restored among his nation’s borders.

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