List of Metropolitans and Patriarchs of Kiev

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This list contains the names of all the Eastern Orthodox hierarchs whose title contains a reference to the city of Kiev, arranged chronologically and grouped as per the jurisdictions, some of them unrecognised.


The history of the Russian (Ruthenian) Orthodox Church is usually traced to the Baptism of Rus' at Kiev, the date of which is commonly given as 988; however, the evidence surrounding this event is contested (see Christianisation of Kievan Rus').

It is not certainly known when exactly the Metropolis of Kiev was established.[1] Since the foundation of the church its hierarch held a title Metropolitan of Kiev and all Russia with his episcopal see located in the city of Kiev (or possibly Tmutarakan).[1] The church was created as part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. There is an evidence that the first bishop might have been dispatched to Kiev in 864 by the Patriarch of Constantinople Photios I before the official Christianization of 988.[1] It happened after Kiev was captured by Varangians in 860.[1] It is also apparent that Prince of Kiev Askold might have been baptized due to the fact that there exist the Saint Nicholas Church at the Askold's Grave.[1] During a rule of Prince Igor of Kiev, in Kiev existed the Saint Elijah Church,[1] while during signing the 944 treaty with the Greeks some Ruthenians took an oath on the Bible.[1]

The earliest metropolitan bishop whose name is known is Michael of Kiev.

Following the Mongol invasion and the 1240 sack of Kiev by Batu Khan communications between Kiev and Constantinople deteriorated. On the demand of the Golden Horde the newly appointed Kirill III of Kiev had to govern from the city of Vladimir, yet the official transfer of the episcopal see did not occur until 1299. Despite having to govern the church from Vladimir and later Moscow, hierarchs continued to be called Metropolitan of Kiev and all Russia. Grand Princes of Vladimir and later Moscow controlled Kiev on the permission of the Khan of the Golden Horde.

Two other successor states of the Kievan Rus', Kingdom of Rus and Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Ruthenia and Samogotia that controlled portions of territory of former Rus demanded to establish separate dioceses independent from Moscow. Sometimes their demands were approved, other times former eparchies were returned under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Russia. During the 14th century the church was de facto split in two or three. The Great Duchy of Moscow completely lost control of Kiev in the mid 14th century.

Starting from the 15th century, the church was finally reunited and continued to be governed from Moscow by the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Russia, despite being located in a neighboring country. During that time in the Holy Roman Empire the Council of Florence took place as a political and religious forum. Though resisting at first, the Great Prince of Moscow allowed the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Russia Isidore of Kiev to attend it. Isidore who was of Greek origin went forward to sign the Florentine Union uniting the Russian Orthodox Church with the Latin Church. The Great Prince of Moscow voided the union and placed Isidore in prison for sometime. Following that incident, the next Metropolitan of Kiev and all Russia Jonah who was not approved by the Constantinople Patriarch changed his title to Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia in 1448. Since then and until 1589, no hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow were approved by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople declaring their complete autocephaly.

Notwithstanding, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople continued to appoint his metropolitans for dioceses of the Ruthenian Orthodox Church[2][3][4] in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The next hierarch of the Ruthenian Orthodox Church[2][3] in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth Gregory the Bulgarian was originally consecrated by a Latin Patriarch of Constantinople and received a title of Metropolitan of Kiev, Halych and all Ruthenia. Later his appointed was also approved by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople as well. The episcopal see of the new hierarch was located in Vilnius, Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

In 1588–1589 Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Jeremias II of Constantinople when traveling across the Eastern Europe, visited both Moscow and Vilnius. In Moscow Jeremias confirmed autocephaly of the Russian Orthodox Church and for the first time since 1448 consecrated Job of Moscow as the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia. Later Jeremias stopped in Vilnius and consecrated Michael Rohoza as Metropolitan of Kiev, Halych and all Ruthenia, thus again confirming division of the former Russian Orthodox Church. Soon thereafter, in 1596 the Metropolitan of Kiev and other top clergymen of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth signed the Union of Brest turning the Russian (Ruthenian) Orthodox Church under jurisdiction of the Latin Church and converting to the Ruthenian Uniate Church.

As the previous Florentine union, the Union of Brest was not accepted by all orthodox clergymen causing some eparchies (dioceses) to continue their operations as Eastern Orthodox. In 1620 the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophanes consecrated Job as the new Metropolitan of Kiev, Halych and all Ruthenia and Exarch of Ukraine. This appointment revitalized Eastern Orthodox churches and deepened the schism. On the other hand, the episcopal see was returned to Kiev for the first time since 1299. In 1646 last remnants of the Russian Orthodox Church in Carpathian region joined the Union of Uzhhorod and converted into the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church. At the same time, the eastern territories of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth which today part of Belarus and Ukraine entered a great turmoil and eventually were occupied by the Tsardom of Muscovy. Soon after occupation of Ukraine (Cossack Hetmanate), in 1685 the Ruthenian Orthodox Church was transferred from under jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople to under jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Moscow. The newly appointed metropolitan Gedeon was titled as Metropolitan of Kiev, Galich and all Little Russia. This transfer successfully terminated any remnants of the original Russian Orthodox Church centered in Kiev.

Orthodox Church of Rus'[edit]

The church (Ancient Greek: Ρωσική Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία, Rhosike Orthodoxe Ekklesia) was established and governed by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in Kievan Rus' until the invasion of the Mogols of the Golden Horde and the eventual partition of Rus' between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Kingdom of Hungary, and the Ulus of Jochi (Golden Horde) with its vassal Grand Duchy of Moscow. At first it led to a succession of Muscovite dioceses into its own Metropolis and although it was not recognized in the beginning eventually it turned into Patriarchate. Later the dioceses that were under the Grand Duchy of Lithuania were reorganized within the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and as part of the Polonization process eventually joined the Union of Brest coming under communion with the Pope of Rome. The Eparchy of Mukačevo that was under the Kingdom of Hungary became one of the longest surviving dioceses of Eastern Orthodoxy in the west until it also was Catholicized though the Union of Uzhhorod.

Metropolitans of Kiev and all Rus'[edit]

Metropolitan of Kiev
Saint Ephraimof bishop of Pereyeslav.jpg
Metropolitan Ephraim (1091–1097)
ResidenceSaint Sophia's Cathedral
SeatKiev, Ruthenia
AppointerEcumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
First holderMichael I
Final holderMaximus
SuccessionMetropolitan of Kiev and Moscow (Vladimir)

In 1299 Metropolitan Maximus moves the seat from Kiev to Vladimir, title "of Kiev" retained.

Metropolitan of Kiev, Moscow (Vladimir) and all Russia
Photius, Theognostus and Cyprian.jpg
Metropolitans of Kiev, Moscow and all Russia: Photius, Theognostus and Cyprian
SeatMoscow, Grand Duchy of Moscow
AppointerEcumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
PrecursorMetropolitan of Kiev
First holderMaximus
Final holderIsidore
SuccessionMetropolitan of Kiev, Galicia
Patriarch (Metropolitan) of Moscow and all Russia

Metropolitan of Kiev (Muscovy, Lithuania, Halych)[edit]

In the 14th century the Byzantine Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos sanctioned creation of two additional metropolitan sees in Halych (1303)[17] and Navahrudak (1317).[18]

See in Vladimir See in Halych See in Navahrudak
1299–1305 Maximus 1303–1305 Niphont[19]
1308–1326 Peter II (united) 1317–1330 Theophilus

In 1325 the Vladimir's seat was moved to Moscow

See in Moscow See in Vilno See in Halych
1326–1328 vacant 1317–1330 Theophilus 1326–1329 Gabriel[19]
1328–1353 Theognostus 1352 Teodorite[20] 1337–1347 Theodore II[19]
1354–1378 Alexius 1354–1362 Roman[21] (united)
1384–1385 Dionysius I 1376–1406 Cyprian[22] 1370–1391 Antoniy
1382–1389 Pimen
1376–1406 Cyprian (united)
1410–1431 Photius 1415–1419 Gregory[23]
1433–1435 Gerasimus[24] (united)
1436–1458 Isidore (united)

Following the signing of Council of Florence, Isidore of Kiev came back to Moscow as a Ruthenian cardinal in 1441, and was arrested after being accused of apostasy. In 1448 the Grand Duke of Moscow installed own Muscovite metropolitan of Kiev Jonah without the Patriarchal approval Gregory III of Constantinople (in 1461 Metropolitan of Moscow). In 1458, the Orthodox dioceses within the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, including Kiev, were reorganized and a metropolitan episcopal see was moved to Vilnius, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Metropolitan of Kiev, Galicia and all Russia
Michał Rahoza. Міхал Рагоза.jpg
Metropolitan Mykhailo
SeatVilnius, Grand Duchy of Lithuania
AppointerEcumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
PrecursorMetropolitan of Halych (Lithuania)
Metropolitan of Kiev, Moscow and all Russia
First holderGregory
Final holderMichael
SuccessionRuthenian Uniate Church
Metropolitan of Kiev, Galicia and all Russia

Metropolitans of Kiev, Galicia and All Ruthenia[edit]

Patriarch Isidore II of Constantinople reorganized the church and its primates were given a new title: Metropolitan of Kiev, Galicia, and all Ruthenia thus commemorating the office of Metropolitan of Galicia. The episcopal see was located in Vilnius.

In 1595 the Vilnius/Kyiv Metropolis signs the Union of Brest with the Catholic Church, so establishing the Ruthenian Uniate Church.

Metropolitan of Kiev, Galicia, all Ruthenia, Patriarchal Exarch[edit]

Mohyla Petro.jpg

In 1620 – about 25 years after the implementation of the Union of Brest – Patriarch Cyril Lucaris, of Constantinople, re-established a rival Metropolitanate of Kiev (1620–1685) [ru; uk] with a disuniate [pl] hierarchy, within the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.[31][a] The new metropolitan was organized with bishops who refused to join the Union of Brest. The first hierarch who was finally recognized by the Crown of Poland was Petro Mohyla.

The Greek Orthodox Metropolitanate of Kiev was in 1686 transferred from the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the Moscow Patriarchate [uk] according to the Russian Orthodox Church (see: 2018 Moscow–Constantinople schism).

Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)[edit]

Metropolitan (Archbishop) of Kiev, Galicia (and all Little Russia)
SeatKiev, Kiev Governorate (Cossack Hetmanate)
AppointerPatriarch of Moscow and all Russia
PrecursorMetropolitan of Kiev, Galicia and all Russia, Exarch of Ukraine
First holderGedeon
Final holderAnthony
SuccessionMetropolitan of Kiev, Galicia, Exarch of Ukraine
Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church

Metropolitans of Kiev, Galicia and of all Little Russia (1685–1770)[edit]

Metropolitan Vladimir
In 1718 Peter the Great abolished metropolitan.
In 1743 metropolitan was reinstated.
In 1767 Catherine the Great stripped the Metropolitan Arsenius of title "of all Little Russia"

Metropolitans of Kiev and Galicia (1770–1921)[edit]

In 1770 the Kiev metropolitan was stripped of suffragan bishops and turned into a regular archeparchy carrying honoring title of Metropolitan.

Metropolitans and Archbishops of Kiev and Galicia (1921–1990)[edit]

Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine (Metropolitans of Kiev and Galicia, Exarch of Ukraine)
Metropolitan Onuphrius

since 2014
SeatKiev, Ukraine (formerly the Ukrainian SSR)
AppointerPatriarch of Moscow and all Russia
PrecursorMetropolitan of Kiev, Galicia and all Russia, Exarch of Ukraine
First holderMichael

Partial autonomy was reinstated in a form of exarchate which in the Russian Orthodox Church is a special fixed territory that has autonomy within the church (e.g. Belarusian Exarchate).

In 1990 the Ukrainian Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, is given "self-ruled" status forming the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)

The Living Church (1923–1941)[edit]

In 1923, a major split occurred in the Moscow Patriarchate, with a majority (initially) of the ROC bishops joining a reformist-minded wing of the Church, supported by the OGPU, the Soviet secret police. Across the territory of the USSR, many episcopal sees in the 1920s and 1930s had 2 parallel bishops: one from the Living Church, another from the Moscow Patriarchate. The Living church had its headquarter in Kharkiv and was active in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.[42]

Metropolitans of Kiev and All Ukraine of the Moscow Patriarchate (1990–present)[edit]

Soviet renovation churches[edit]

All-Ukrainian Orthodox Autocephalous Synodical Church[edit]

Created in 1923, the church was part of all-Soviet Renovation movement (Obnovlenichestvo).[45] It was liquidated in 1935, but after the remaining communities were headed by acting primate.

  • Pimen (Pegov), 1923-1935
  • Oleksandr (Chekanovskyi), 1935-1937

Fraternal Parish Association of the Ukrainian Orthodox Autocephalous churches[edit]

In 1925 there was created another organization which opposed both the Living Church and Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. After 1937 it disappeared.[46]

  • Feofil Buldovsky, 1925–1937

Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (1921–2018, defunct)[edit]

Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine (self-consecrated)[edit]

Due to Soviet pressure, the UAOC is liquidated in 1936, some of its members emigrated to the United States.

Polish Orthodox Church period (World War II)[edit]

In 1942, UAOC was re-established with help of the Polish Orthodox Church during occupation of Ukraine by the Nazi Germany. Polikarp Sikorsky was consecrated by Dionizy (Waledyński).

  • Polikarp Sikorsky, (Administrator of the Church under the title of Metropolitan of Lutsk and Kovel), 1942–1944 [40]

This relative freedom lasted till the return of the Red Army in 1944, after that the UAOC was again liquidated and remained structured only in the diaspora. In 1944 the Orthodox Metropolitan of Warsaw, Dionizy Waledynski, was appointed "Patriarch of All Ukraine", but the Soviet Union did not allow any operation in Ukraine.

Patriarchs of Kiev and all Rus-Ukraine (1990–2000)[edit]

In 1990 the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church was reinstated in Ukraine, and the former Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada Metropolitan Mstyslav was enthroned as a Patriarch.

Metropolitans of Kiev and All Ukraine (2000–2018)[edit]

On 15 December 2018, the UAOC alongside with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate merged into the unified Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate (1992–2018; 2019–)[edit]

After being dismissed in 1992 by the Archhierarch Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Ukrainian Metropolitan Filaret created a new Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate (UOC–KP) under Patriarch Mstyslav of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. On 15 December 2018, the UOC–KP along with the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church merged into the unified Orthodox Church of Ukraine. In June 2019, however, Filaret and few clergyman split from the UOC, over the leadership dispute as the original leader (Patriarchate of the Church).

Mstyslav never approved the union between the UAOC and the UOC-KP and both continued to operate separately.[48]

Orthodox Church of Ukraine[edit]

This church was established by a unification council on 15 December 2018. The council voted to unite the existing Ukrainian Orthodox churches (UOC-KP, UAOC and parts of the UOC-MP) through their representatives, on the basis of complete canonical independence, into the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU). The primate of the Church is the "Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine". The unification council elected Epiphanius I as its first primate. The decree granting officially autocephaly to the OCU was signed on 5 January 2019.[49][50]

As of October 2019, the OCU is recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople as well as the Church of Greece.

Metropolitian of Kiev and All Ukraine[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ King Sigismund III Vasa accused their consecrator, Theophanes III, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, of being a covert agent working on behalf of the Ottoman Empire and ordered his arrest and arrest of those consecrated by him.[32]
  2. ^ The hierarchy which was consecrated in 1620 was legalized by the government in a 1632 agreement that permitted both the disuniate Greek Orthodox and uniate Greek Catholic jurisdictions within the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.[33]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Lencyk, W. Christianization of Ukraine. Encyclopedia of Ukraine
  2. ^ a b Slocombe, G. Poland. T. C. & E. C. Jack. 1916
  3. ^ a b FRICK, D.A. Meletij Smotryc'kyj and the Ruthenian Question in the Early Seventeenth Century. Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. 1984
  4. ^ Frost, R.I. The Oxford History of Poland-Lithuania: The Making of the Polish-Lithuanian Union, 1385-1569. Oxford University Press, 2015
  5. ^ Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 64.
  6. ^ a b Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 65.
  7. ^ Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 66.
  8. ^ a b Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 77.
  9. ^ a b Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 78.
  10. ^ a b Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 79.
  11. ^ a b Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 80.
  12. ^ a b c Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 81.
  13. ^ a b c Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 82.
  14. ^ a b c Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 83.
  15. ^ Epstein, S. Purity Lost: Transgressing Boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean, 1000–1400. JHU Press, 2007
  16. ^ Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 84.
  17. ^ "Halych metropoly".
  18. ^ Lithuanian metropoly. Encyclopedia of Ukraine.
  19. ^ a b c "Halych metropoly".
  20. ^ Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 86.
  21. ^ Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 87.
  22. ^ Blazejovskyj 1990, pp. 88–90.
  23. ^ Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 90.
  24. ^ Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 91.
  25. ^ Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 179.
  26. ^ a b Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 180.
  27. ^ a b c Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 181.
  28. ^ a b c Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 182.
  29. ^ a b c Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 183.
  30. ^ a b Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 184.
  31. ^ Subtelny 2009, p. ? (ebook); Crummey 2006, p. 305; Medlin & Patrinelis 1971, p. 90; Krasinski 1840, p. 191.
  32. ^ Medlin & Patrinelis 1971, pp. 89–90.
  33. ^ Subtelny 2009, p. ? (ebook).
  34. ^ a b Senyk 1996, pp. 354–357.
  35. ^ Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 223.
  36. ^ Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 225.
  37. ^ Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 226.
  38. ^ a b c Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 224.
  39. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al UOC-MP 2011.
  40. ^ a b Magocsi 1996, p. 628.
  41. ^ Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 405.
  42. ^ "Living church". Retrieved 2019-01-09.
  43. ^ "Official History of the Defrocking and Anathematization of Philaret Denisenko. Documents of the June 1992, 1994, and 1997 Bishops' Councils of the Russian Orthodox Church". OrthoChristian.Com. 17 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  44. ^ a b "Metropolitan Onufriy of Chernivtsi and Bukovyna elected head of Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)". Kyiv, UA: Interfax-Ukraine. 2014-08-13. Archived from the original on 2014-08-13.
  45. ^ Yevseyeva, T. Renovation movement (ОБНОВЛЕНСЬКИЙ РУХ). Encyclopedia of History of Ukraine
  46. ^ Sahan, O. Fraternal Association. Encyclopedia of History of Ukraine
  47. ^ a b Blazejovskyj 1990, p. 428.
  48. ^ "Ukrainian Orthodox church". Retrieved 2019-01-09.
  49. ^ "Patriarch Bartholomew signs Tomos of autocephaly of Orthodox Church of Ukraine". 5 January 2019. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  50. ^ (2019-01-05). "L'Église d'Ukraine officiellement créée par le patriarche Bartholomée" [The church of Ukraine officially created by Patriarch Bartholomew]. La Croix (in French). Retrieved 2019-01-05.


This article incorporates text from List of Metropolitans of Kiev at OrthodoxWiki which is licensed under the CC-BY-SA and GFDL.

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