PATRIARCH DYMYTRII DIES IN URKAINE

The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church of North & South America announces that His Holiness, Patriarch DYMYTRII, head of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine passed away on February 25.

Patriarch Dymytrii was the leader of one of two religious groups in Ukraine that use the name of Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine. The other church, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate is headed by Patriarch Philaret. Talks have taken place in the last few years concerning unity among the two churches.

In 1996, when Patriarch Dymytrii left his position as Patriarch for a short time, due to political issues, the church was headed by Metropolitan Vasili Bodnarchuk, senior Metropolitan of the UAOC, who served as Acting Patriarch. It was then that Acting Patriarch, Metropolitan Vasili issued the tomos to establish the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church of North & South America (Sobornopravna), headed by Metropolitan Stephan, with headquarters in Cleveland, OH, The UAOC Metropolia is an active and growing Ukrainian jurisdiction in the Western Hemisphere.

As Patriarch of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, Patriarch Dymytrii was a successor to Patriarch Mystylav, who first accepted the position of Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine in 1990, after Ukraine's independence. Begun in the 1920s, the worldwide Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church was outlawed in Ukriane by the Soviet government. The only church allowed to exist legally during that time was the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church.

May his memory be eternal! Vichnaya Pamyat'.

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