Historical Documents reflecting some formative events in the history of the
Patriarchal Ukrainian Orthodox Church in North America
and the contemporary UAOC Metropolia
Below are some historical documents issued to Metropolitan Stephan in August of 1996, in cooperation and with the blessing of the Most Rev. Lazar Puhalo, now Archbishop in the Orthodox Church of America (OCA).
Both Archbishop Lazar and the now Metropolitan Stephan were at that time, members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP), then the common name of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine. This was prior to any substantial existence of two separate patriarchal churches in Ukraine, as in today's situation with the UOC-KP and the UAOC.
The first patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus'-Ukraine was His Holiness, Patriarch Mystyslav, of blessed memory, installed into the patriarchal office in 1991.
The election of the then Archimandrite Stephan to the office of bishop was canonically
conducted during the time of the installation of the then Metropolitan Filaret to the Patriarchal Office of Kyiv, with the participation of Archbishop Lazar and other members of the Council of Hierarchs of the UOC-KP and confirmed by the Patriarch. It was later further attested to in November of 1996, by the Hramota of Metropolitan Vasyl Bodnarchuk, then acting patriarch of the UAOC during the transition years of the mid-1990s. This document also established the Archdiocese of North & South America of the UAOC, with Metropolitan Stephan as Administrator.
The documents were issued during the beginning stages of ecclesiastical formation in North America for the Patriarchal Church of Ukraine. They testify to the strong efforts and hard work of Archbishop Lazar and Metropolitan Stephan, often under difficult circumstances, in setting a solid foundation for the Patriarchal Ukrainian Orthodox Church in America.
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