In Istanbul, Patriarch Bartholomew ordains the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine as a bishop

09.11.2020, 08:48
In Istanbul, Patriarch Bartholomew ordains the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine as a bishop - фото 1
On November 8, Istanbul hosted a historic event – the ordination of Archimandrite Mykhailo (Anishchenko), Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine, as Bishop of Komana.

The solemn patriarchal Liturgy was held in the Church of the Archangels of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was co-celebrated by Metropolitan Oleksandr (Drabynko) of Pereyaslavl and Vishnevsky, Bishop Matthew (Shevchuk) of Volodymyr-Volyn and Turia, and bishops of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, according to Dukhovnyy Front (Spiritual Front).

This event is a new stage in the communion of the Mother Church with her daughter, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Since the time of ancient Rus in Kyiv and other cities of the Kyiv Metropolia, there were separate monasteries and brotherhoods that had the status of stavropegia, that is, they were subordinate directly to the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Due to various events that took place in the history of Ukraine, these stavropegia were lost. Only in October 2018, the restoration of ancient stavropegia took place. Then the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine made a historic decision to transfer St. Andrew's Church to the use of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Since then and until now, the restored stavropegia of the Mother Church is a kind of representative office of Constantinople in Ukraine, operating on a permanent basis. One of the main tasks of this church institution is to establish direct communication between Constantinople and Kyiv.

No less important is the fact that this representative office is headed by a native of Ukraine. His dedication is almost the first time in the recent history of orthodoxy in Ukraine that the Ecumenical Patriarch ordains a Ukrainian as a bishop. In history, we know that the first Kyiv Metropolitans came from Constantinople and were Greek by ethnic origin.

Now Constantinople continues its guardianship over Ukraine and based on the needs of Ukrainians. It supplies a person who knows all Ukrainian problems well to such a responsible position.

Father Mykhailo's candidacy is the most successful for fulfilling this venerable mission. An educated, wise theologian and a patriotic good shepherd are qualities that can describe a young Exarch. He spent his youth in Volhynia. It was there that he received a theological education and began his priestly ministry. While carrying out his obedience to the Church, Father Mykhailo continued his studies at well-known and respected European theological institutions in Greece and Switzerland. Subsequently, the Lord, who knows human thoughts and sees human souls and hearts, called him to serve in the womb of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. During 2011-2019, he was rector of the Church of St. Alypius Stylites of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Antalya (Turkey). In 2013, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew elevated father Michael to the rank of Archimandrite, and now he has been ordained a bishop.

This event is important for Ukraine. It will not only contribute to the making of the local church in Ukraine but also prevent the Russian Church from taking revenge in instilling the ideology of the "Russian World".

Read about the importance of this event in Dmytro Horyevoy's article: The Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine elevated to the office of Bishop. What does it mean for Kyiv?