Istanbul, January 15, 2019
The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople appointed a head for its newfound stavropegial institutions in Ukraine at its recent session in Istanbul from January 9 to 11.
The new head of the stavropegia is Archimandrite Michael (Anischenko), who served for many years as the head of the Orthodox community in Antalya, Turkey, reports Romfea, with reference to a communiqué from the Holy Synod.
The Union of Orthodox Journalists also reports that Archim. Michael previously served in Lutsk, Ukraine, and was a cleric of the Volyn Cathedral of the canonical Ukrainian Church. He had also been a candidate for the position of head of the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The Ukrainian government has already transferred the famous St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Kiev to Constantinople, where Fr. Michael will be based, though there are reports that several other churches and monasteries will be taken from the canonical Church to give to Constantinople.
The tomos granted to the newly-created Ukrainian nationalist church specifically provides for these stavropegial institutions: “The prerogatives of the Ecumenical Throne over the Exarchate and Sacred Stavropegial institutions in Ukraine shall be preserved unmitigated.”
Thus, according to the tomos, not only have stavropegial, or representative, institutions been established, but an Exarchate, essentially a diocese, as well, separate from the jurisdiction of the new Ukrainian structure, though physically within its territory. The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople had previously announced on October 11 that it intended to establish such institutions.
It was initially reported back in February that Constantinople perhaps had such intentions.
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