Eparchy of Kiev (Moscow Patriarchate)

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Eparchy of Kiev (Russian: Киевская епархия) is central eparchy of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) under the supreme ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The seat of Eparchy is in Kiev. Eparchy is primatial, its head being the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine. Since 2014, office is held by Metropolitan Onufriy (Berezovsky).[1]


The history of the Eparchy of Kiev dates back to the establishment of the Metropolitanate of Kiev under the jurisdiction of Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Russian Kiev diocese (or archdiocese) is first mentioned in 891, as the 60th by ranks of honor in the list of departments subordinate to the Patriarch of Constantinople, and 61st in the charter of Emperor Leo (886-911). From its beginnings, Eparchy of Kiev was central or primatial diocese of the Metropolitanate, which also included a number of other dioceses, created after the baptism of Kievan Rus during the rule of Great Prince Vladimir in 988.

After the defeat of the Tatars, residence of the Metropolitan of all Rus was moved in 1299 from Kiev to Vladimir-on-Kliazma, and in 1325 in Moscow. The heads of Metropolitanate continued to title themselves as Metropolitans of Kiev and all Rus, while Kiev remained a suffragan bishopric.

Since the first half of the 14th century, due to political changes the desire of Lithuanian princes to have their own metropolitans in Kiev, a separate line was started, as opposed to those that were in Moscow. Creation of a separate Metropolitan office was also associated with the renewed efforts of Roman Catholic Church to convert Southern Russians from Eastern Orthodoxy to Catholicism, through the creation of alternative Uniate hierarchy. In 1458, Metropolitanate finally split in two: Kiev-Moscow in the northeast of the Russia and the Kiev-Lithuania in the south-west.

Due to the isolation of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, in 1461 the Kiev-Moscow metropolitans were titled Moscow and All Russia, and the title of Kiev and All Russia once again became the Metropolitan of Kiev-owned Lithuanian metropolis with faculty in Vilna.

Metropolitans south-western Russia retained the throne of Constantinople submission, but often inclined to union pressure Roman Catholic secular authorities. In 1595, the Kiev-Lithuanian Southwestern Metropolis finally fell away from Orthodoxy under the terms of the Union of Brest. Thus began the Uniate "Greek-Catholic" Kiev Metropolis.

In 1620, the Orthodox metropolitan department of Constantinople was restored church in Kiev, which thus again became the de facto center of the metropolis patroness. In 1685-1686, the Diocese of Kiev, along with all the Metropolitan of Kiev, has been translated from the Patriarchate of Constantinople to the Moscow, succeeded Kiev-Moscow Metropolitan.

By Tsar Peter I the Metropolitan of Kiev in the early 18th century became known as archbishop. This lasted until the middle of the century, when the decree of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna, they were again granted the dignity of the Metropolitan. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Kiev diocese consisted of two parts on the right and left banks of the Dnieper River, within subsequently ceded to Chernihiv and Poltava provinces. Most of the diocese called itself "the Diocese of Kiev" and smaller - "Abroad". The jurisdiction of the metropolitan of Kiev in the 18th century, was chaplain of Warsaw within Poland.

Since 1918, the decision of the All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918 Kiev bishops again become the heads of not only the diocese, but the Church and the autonomous region within Ukraine. After its liquidation by order of Patriarch Tikhon was established Ukrainian Exarchate. The Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, 25-27 October 1990, established autonomous and self-governing Ukrainian Orthodox Church, with its primatial Diocese of Kiev, managed since 1992 by Metropolitan Volodymyr Sabodan who died in 2014.


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