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The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada (UOCC) is an Eastern Orthodox Church in Canadamarker, primarily serving Ukrainian Canadians. Its former name was the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of Canada (UGOCC).

It has cathedrals in the cities of Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Vancouver, Edmonton, Torontomarker, and Montreal. The Metropolitan Cathedral, seminary (St. Andrew's Collegemarker), and central administrative office are all based in Winnipeg. Also the Church is affiliated with four residences for university students: St. Vladimir's in Torontomarker, Ontariomarker; St. Petro Mohyla Institutemarker in Saskatoonmarker, Saskatchewanmarker; St. John's Institute in Edmontonmarker, Albertamarker; and one operating at St. Andrew's College. The Church's membership is about ten thousand, and the current Primate of the Church is Metropolitan John .

Early history

Most ethnic Ukrainians moving to Canadamarker from Galicia (Western Ukrainemarker) in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were Greek Catholics, and were tended early on by the local Roman Catholic hierarchy. This was because the Vatican had hoped that the Ukrainian Catholics would assimilate into the Roman Catholic Church, which was already well established. The other major group of Ukrainians which were coming to Canada were from Bukovina, and they were mostly Orthodox. At first these Orthodox Christians were served by the Russian Orthodox Mission in North America (which at that time was part of the Russian Orthodox Church), but these services were not conducted in their native Ukrainian language. Catholics who were fed up with new Catholic ideologies in Canada and the Orthodox who wanted to establish their own church met in the summer of 1918 the city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewanmarker and established the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church in Canada. Also at these meetings, the delegates (mostly from Albertamarker, Saskatchewanmarker, & Manitobamarker) had established a Brotherhood to try and help the young church.

The settlers had just created a new Church, but they were very conscious of Church Canon Law that states that a Church cannot exist without a bishop. The Church's Brotherhood tried to have Archbishop Alexander of the Russian Orthodox Mission to take the Church under his temporary care as Bishop. At first Archbishop Alexander agreed, but later declined; however, the UGOC's First Sobor (Church Council) still took place as planned on December 28, 1918 in Saskatoon. This Sobor led to the establishment of the Church's first seminary in Saskatoon. The Brotherhood still searched for a temporary Bishop, and eventually found one: Metropolitan Germanos , who was the Metropolitan of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. He led the Church for the next 5 years (1919-1924). Under his supervision, Sobor II took place in Saskatoon, and was held on November 27, 1919.

Archbishop John (Theodorovych)

Following Metropolitan Germanos' leadership, Archbishop John (Ioan) (Theodorovych) became the Church's Primate. Archbishop John had just arrived in the United Statesmarker from the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, and he began to serve the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA to become their Primate and Metropolitan. The young Church had chosen the Ukrainian bishop as their bishop, hoping that the Church would further grow under his leadership (with his knowledge of Ukrainian traditions). During the summers from 1924 to 1946 Archbishop John would make his annual trip to Canadamarker to visit the parishes throughout the country. When Archbishop John was in the USA during the winter months, a priest would act as an administrator at the Consistory, Semen Sawchuk.

After a few years as acting Primate of the UOCC, certain controversies laid around Archbishop John, due to his uncanonical ordination to bishop. Archbishop John was "ordained" by the "bishops" of Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, who were not ordained according to the Canon Law's and Traditions of the Orthodox Church, but were ordained by priests and lay people. The 1st Canon of the Holy Apostles states that new bishops should be ordained by at least 2 or 3 bishops. As a result of this, Archbishop John resigned his position as ruling bishop in 1946.

At a special Sobor in 1947, Bishop Mstyslav was accepted as the new Archbishop of Winnipeg and all Canada. However due to some misunderstandings, and arguments about how the Church should governed (mostly between him and Semen Sawchuk), he resigned as Primate in 1950 at Sobor X in Winnipegmarker. Under these happenings the UOCC had contacted Metropolitan Polikarp (who was the head of the Synod of Ukrainian Orthodox Bishops under the Orthodox Church of Poland) for assistance, and he agreed to send some bishops over to help the faithful in Canada.

The formation of the Metropolitanate

In 1951, St. Mary the Protectress Cathedral (who was not in the UOCC at that time) had invited Metropolitan Ilarion to Canada to become their church's bishop, while the Consistory of the UOCC had already invited Archbishop Michael and Bishop Platon (who reposed shortly after arriving in Canada) to come to Canada to be the Church's Metropolitan and Bishop respectively. Once the Consistory had found out of Metropolitan Ilarion's coming to Canada, they sought him out, and invited him to become Metropolitan of the UOCC. He accepted only if St. Mary the Protectress was to be accepted back into the UOCC. The Consistory agreed, and the Central and Eastern Dioceses were created with Archbishop Michael heading the Eastern Diocese with its headquarters in Torontomarker, and Metropolitan Ilarion heading the Central Diocese in Winnipeg as Metropolitan.

Modern history

In 1990, it became a canonical church by being accepted into the Patriarchy of Constantinoplemarker. A few years later its sister church, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA joined her. Also in 1990, the church made the official name change from: Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of Canada (UGOC); to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada (UOCC).

In July 2005, at the XXI SOBOR of the UOCC, Archbishop John, (at that time) was elected Archbishop of Winnipeg and Metropolitan of Canada. In late 2005, Archbishop John, finally replaced (after his acception by the Holy Synod of Bishops of Constantinople) Metropolitan Wasyly Fedak as Metropolitan, who reposed in January 2005, after serving in the position for nearly twenty years.

Metropolitan John's enthronement took place on July 23, 2006 at Holy Trinity Metropolitan Cathedral in Winnipeg. Metropolitan Sotirios of the Greek Metropolis of Toronto (Exarch of Canada) officiated the enthronement service, and presented Metropolitan John a white klobuk (In Slavic tradition, Metropolitans wear white klobuks), a new episcopal staff, and a panagia from the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Metropolitan Sotirios also installed Metropolitan John as Archbishop of Winnipeg, the Central Diocese, and Metropolitan of Canada.

From August 22 to August 24 2008, an Extraordinary Sobor took place in Saskatoon not only to elect two new bishops for the Church and pass a new set of bylaws, but to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the UOCC in Saskatoon [70431]. The Sobor elected Bishops Ilarion (Roman Rudnyk) to become the Bishop of Edmonton, and Andriy (Bohdan Peshko) to become the Bishop of Saskatoon. This recreated a new Council of Bishops of the UOCC.

Bishop Ilarion's election was ratified in October 2008, by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and he was enthroned by his Eminence Metropolitan John on Sunday, October 26, 2008.

Bishops & Dioceses

In Ukrainian (Slavic) Tradition, the Metropolitan is the Head Bishop of the Church and Primate, and then followed by the Archbishop(s) and/or Bishop(s). In Greek Tradition, the Metropolitan's, and Archbishop's roles are reversed.

In the UOCC, the Metropolitan is always the "Archbishop of Winnipeg, and the Central Eparchy, Metropolitan of Canada" (which is currently Metropolitan John), while the next two Bishops are always the: "(Arch)bishop of Edmonton, and the Western Eparchy (Bishop Ilarion)," and the "(Arch)bishop of Toronto, and the Eastern Eparchy" (Archbishop Yurij), while the fourth Bishop is always the "Bishop of Saskatoon, and Vicar of the Central Eparchy (Bishop Andriy is elected)." Usually the Church only has 4 bishops, but if there is a need for more, there are the See's of: "Bishop of Montreal, and Vicar of the Eastern Eparchy," and "Bishop of Vancouver, and the Vicar of the Western Eparchy."

Historical Bishops

List of bishops who have served in the UOCC historically, and the years served:

Metropolitans/Primates

List of primates, and years of primatial rule:
  • Metropolitan Ilarion (Ohienko) - (1951-1972)
  • Metr. Michael (Khoroshy) - (1972-1975) - Resigned as Metropolitan in 1975
  • Metr. Andrew (Metiuk) - (1975-1985)
  • Metr. Wasyly (Fedak) - (1985-2005)
  • Metr. John (Stinka) - (2005-Present)


Current Bishops



See also



External links




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