Exarch of Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine, who served in Lutsk, becomes a bishop

07.10.2020, 11:47
Exarch of Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine, who served in Lutsk, becomes a bishop - фото 1
The Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate has elected Archimandrite Mykhailo Onyshchenko, who had served as an Exarch in Ukraine for the past two years, to the office of Bishop of Comana.

The press service of the Ecumenical Patriarchate has reported this on its Facebook page.

The Synod's decision states that the newly elected Bishop will continue to carry out his ministry in Ukraine. This means that in the future, father Mykhailo Onyshchenko will officially be called the titular Bishop of Comana, Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine.

The titular city of the newly elected bishop was the ancient Cappadocian city of Comana, now in its place is the Turkish village of Sharkey.

Background information:

Father Mykhailo Onyshchenko began his pastoral ministry in the Volyn diocese under the guidance of Metropolitan Nifont, and in Lutsk served as an inspector of the Theological Seminary. Subsequently, he was invited to serve in the Ecumenical Patriarchate by Patriarch Bartholomew.

For ten years, Father Mykhailo had been studying in Greece (Athens), and later served as rector of the Church of St. Alypius Stylites of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Antalya (Turkey), which belongs to the Pisidian Metropolia.

On February 2, 2019, Archimandrite Michael was enthroned as Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Kyiv at St. Andrew's Church, headed by Metropolitan Emmanuel (Adamakis) of France, in concelebration of the Greek hierarchs.

Since each bishop of a particular local church must have a title and their own cathedral city within the canonical territory of the Church, the practice of electing titular bishops is widespread in many Orthodox Churches, in particular in the Russian one, where a bishop serving in London has the title of Sourozh, an ancient city in eastern Ukraine, now defunct and even their own Diocese of Sourozh.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate (and not only in it) has a tradition of recent centuries - to give some newly educated bishops the titles of cities of the Byzantine Empire, which, although they no longer exist, nevertheless have historical significance and are significant in the history of the Church.

Archimandrite Mykhailo Onyshchenko, Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Ukraine, has been elected bishop of Comana. This ancient city has been known since ancient times and is remembered as the place of the death of St. John Chrysostom.

The last person to be titled as Bishop of Comana was bishop Gabriel de Walder (1946-2013), who led the diocese in Paris. I heard from the stories of people who knew him - a man of a holy life.