John (Derewianka) of Parnassus

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His Eminence Archbishop John (Derewianka) of Parnassus is a hierarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate serving the Eparchy of Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Diaspora.


The future archbishop was born on July 6, 1937 as Ivan Derewianka in Zin'kiv, a town in eastern Ukraine. In 1943 the Derewiankas were transferred to Germany to work there, at the close of World War II spending time in a displaced person camp in Germany before immigrating to Belgium in 1947. In Belgium Ivan completed his secondary studies before enrolling at the Catholic University of Louvain to study mathematics.

In 1966 Ivan married Vera Bachinska, a daughter of Archpriest John Bachinskyi. Long active in parish life, on July 20, 1980 Ivan was ordained to the deaconate by Archbishop Orestes, a hierarch of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church Abroad, and on September 19, 1982 to the priesthood by the hand of Archbishop Anatoly (Dublyanskyi) of the UAOC to serve the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Archangel Michael in Genk, Belgium.


Following the repose of his wife Fr. Ivan was tonsured in 1989 by Metropolitan Mstyslav (Skrypnyk) of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church Abroad, who gave him the name Ioann or John (a variation of his birth name). The following day on September 27, Hieromonk John was elevated to the rank of archimandrite. Two years later, on October 27, 1991, Archimandrite John was consecrated Bishop of London and Great Britain.

When the Ecumenical Patriarchate received the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church of the Diaspora into its jurisdiction Bishop John was confirmed as the ruling bishop of the Eparchy of Great Britain, being elected by the Church of Constantinople as the titular Bishop of Parnassus. At the 1999 council (sobor) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Diaspora Bishop John was elevated to the rank of archbishop and given care of the Ukrainian Orthodox Eparchy of Western Europe, with which his Eparchy of Great Britain was merged. In early 2000 Archbishop John's diocese was further enlarged to include the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox parishes in Australia and New Zealand.


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