Onufriy (Berezovsky)

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Metropolitan Onuphrius in 2014

Metropolitan Onufriy (Onuphrius, secular name Orest Volodymyrovych Berezovsky, Ukrainian: Орест Володимирович Березовський, Russian: Орест Владимирович Березовский; 5 November 1944, Korytne, Chernivtsi Oblast) is the current head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate).[1]


He was born 5 November 1944 in Chernivtsi Oblast as the son of a priest. In 1961 he graduated from high school. From 1962 to 1964 he studied at the Chernivtsi technical school, after which he worked in construction organizations in Chernivtsi.

In 1966, he joined the technical faculty of the Chernivtsi University, and in 1969, after the third year, entered in the second class of the Moscow Theological Seminary; the following year, he became part of the brotherhood of the Trinity Sergius Laura.

March 18, 1971 he was tonsured a monk with name Onufriy, in honor of St. Onuphrius the Great. June 20, 1971 he was ordained a hierodeacon. May 29, 1972 ordained a hieromonk.

After 18 years, Archimandrite Onufriy went back to Ukraine as the superior of the Pochayiv Lavra of the Holy Assumption. Two years later, he became Bishop of Chernivtsi and Bukovyna, serving this diocese for 23 years.

In 1988 he graduated from the Moscow Theological Academy as a candidate in theology.

On July 20, 1988, he was appointed Father-Superior of the Dormition Pochayiv Lavra.[1]

On December 9, 1990, he was consecrated Bishop of Chernivtsi and Bukovyna at the St Volodymyr's Cathedral in Kiev.

January 22, 1992 refused to sign the appeal of the bishop meeting of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II with the requirement to provide autocephalous Church in Ukraine, and on January 23 he was transferred by Metropolitan Philaret (Denysenko) to Ivano-Frankivsk diocese.

April 7, 1992 was restored by the Diocese of Chernivtsi.

July 28, 1994 was elevated to the rank of archbishop[1] and appointed a permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian orthodox church.

November 22, 2000 was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan.[1]

November 23, 2013 by Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Vladimir he was awarded the right to wear the second Panagia.

February 24, 2014 the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church elected him by secret ballot for the post of locum tenens of the Kiev metropolitan chair in connection with a medical certificate of inability of Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine to perform the duties of the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

On 13 August 2014 he was elected as the new head of his church as primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (succeeding Metropolitan Volodymyr).[1]


Metropolitan Onufriy has referred to Ukraine's aspirations to join the European Union as a "tragedy".[2]

Onufriy refused to stand up when the Ukrainian parliament honoured the Ukrainian fighters of the War in Donbass (against pro-Russian separatists), but later commented it.[2][3] In August 2014 Onufriy stated that there were no priests in his church who supported separatism.[4] His church usually abstained from commenting on the 2014–15 Russian military intervention in Ukraine.[4]


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