Patriarch Volodymyr

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Volodymyr (secular name Vasyl Omelianovych Romaniuk, ukrainian: Василь Омелянович Романюк, russian: Василий Емельянович Романюк; December 10, 1925, Khymchyn – July 14, 1995, Keiv) was the Patriarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchate.

Volodymyr1.jpg

He was an ex-political (member of OUN) prisoner who was imprisoned by communist Soviets for 17 years (1944–1954, 1972–1979).

In 1979 he became a member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, was exiled from 1979 till 1982, and became a political emigrant at the end of 1980s.

Between 1987–1990, Vasyl Romaniuk lived in Canada and was a priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada. Also he served under the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, whose Metropolitan was Metropolitan Mstyslav (later Patriarch of Kiev).

In 1990 with the onset of Perestroyka he returned to Ukraine and became Bishop of Uzhgorod and Vynohradiv. For a short period, he was Archbishop of Lviv and Sokal. In 1993, by the decree of Patriarch Mstyslav (Skrypnyk) he was excommunicated for accepting ordination from Metropolitan Filaret (Denysenko).

On October 14, 1993 he was elected Patriarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchy.

On July 14, 1995 Patriarch Volodymyr (Romaniuk) suddenly died under somewhat mysterious circumstances, with the official diagnosis being causes related to a heart attack. His burial took place on July 18, 1995. Many religious and faithful called the day of burial black Tuesday, because of confrontations that took place between members of the clergy, laypeople of different denominations and the nationalist militia battling riot police, after an unsuccessful attempt to have him buried on the premises of the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev. At least two people were killed, dozens more injured. Volodymyr Romaniuk was succeeded by Metropolitan Filaret Denysenko who was enthroned as Patriarch of Kiev and All Rus’ - Ukraine on October 22, 1995.

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