KIEV: July 5, 2014
The Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Reposes in the Lord
On Saturday, July 5, one of the senior-most hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church ? Most Blessed Metropolitan Vladimir (Sabodan) of Kiev & All Ukraine, Primate of the Ukrainian Church, reposed in the Lord in Kiev. He was 78.
Metropolitan Vladimir was born on November 23, 1935 in the village of Markovtsy in the Khmelnitsky region of the Ukrainian SSR. He was named Victor in baptism by his parents. He studied at the Odessa Theological Seminary, and in 1962 graduated with a doctorate in theology from Leningrad Theological Academy. That same year, he was ordained a deacon and priest, and in 1966 was elected Bishop of Zvenigorod, vicar of the Diocese of Moscow. He served in many sees over the course of more than 25 years, until 1992, when the Council of Bishops of the UOC elected him Metropolitan of Kiev, in which calling he would serve for more than 20 years. Metropolitan Vladimir was immensely popular within the Church ? in 1990, still Metropolitan of Rostov, he received the second most votes in the election for Patriarch (elected was Metropolitan Alexey of Leningrad, later Patriarch Alexey II). Metropolitan Vladimir suffered great illness for the past two years, as a result of which, on February 24, Metropolitan Onouphry of Chernovtsy was appointed locum tenens of the Kievan See.
Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, said the following in connection with the blessed repose of the Metropolitan of Kiev:
"Today the Ukrainian flock has been orphaned. The departure from this life of the widely beloved and respected Metropolitan Vladimir is also the cause of great sorrow for us, his brother-bishops, as well as the clergy and faithful of the Russian Church Abroad, who knew him as a sincere man of prayer and dedicated Archpastor of the Ukrainian land. I call on all faithful children of the Church Abroad to pray for the repose of his bright soul, as well as to augmented prayer for the cessation of inimical hatred and civil strife in the Ukrainian land, which has recently suffered so greatly. May our Lord Jesus Christ grant His servant rest in the dwellings of the righteous."
Memory eternal to the Most Blessed Metropolitan Vladimir!
Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese