OCA’s Metropolitan Tikhon visits persecuted Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Romania, and Constantinople (+VIDEOS)

Ukraine, June 10, 2024

Metropolitans Onuphry and Tikhon with an icon of All Saints of North America. Photo: news.church.ua Metropolitans Onuphry and Tikhon with an icon of All Saints of North America. Photo: news.church.ua     

His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of Washington and All America and Canada, primate of the autocephalous Orthodox Church in America, led a delegation visiting Sister Orthodox Churches this month.


The trip began with a visit to the much-suffering Ukraine, where Met. Tikhon visited several monasteries and concelebrated with His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, the primate of the persecuted canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Met. Tikhon is the first Orthodox primate to visit Ukraine since the start of the war in February 2022.

The OCA primate, who is a monk of St. Tikhon’s Monastery in Waymart, Pennsylvania, arrived in Ukraine on June 1, and that evening he celebrated the All-Night Vigil together with His Beatitude Met. Onuphry at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Chernivtsi.

Met. Tikhon thanked the Ukrainian primate for his warm welcome and presented him with an icon of the Synaxis of the Saints of North America.

In his words, he expressed his support for canonical Orthodoxy in Ukraine:

As I thank Your Beatitude and the clergy and people of Chernivtsi for your welcome and for your generous hospitality, I would like to reiterate my unyielding fraternal love and support for Your Beatitude, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the entire Ukrainian people.

He also voiced the OCA’s support for Ukraine, while calling upon state authorities to cease its persecution of the Church:

While we, of course, affirm the right and obligation of your beloved country of Ukraine to defend itself against unjustified aggression, we also implore the civil authorities of this land to respect religious freedom, due process, and the norms of international law.

The next morning, the metropolitans concelebrated the Divine Liturgy at Holy Ascension-Bancheny Monastery together with a host of hierarchs and clerics of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, during which Met. Tikhon ordained a Ukrainian subdeacon to the diaconate.

Thanking him for his joint prayer, Met. Onuphry presented Met. Tikhon with a commemorative gift. In his speech, Met. Tikhon noted the spiritual life and social outreach of Bancheny Monastery.

Met. Tikhon also recalled his first encounter with Met. Onuphry many years ago, when the future Ukrainian primate visited St. Tikhon’s Monastery and paid a visit to the future OCA primate’s “very small and humble cell.”

Following the Divine Liturgy, Met. Tikhon, Met. Onuphry, and the hierarchs of the UOC visited the orphanage under the care of the brotherhood of Bancheny Monastery, the sisterhood of Boyany Convent, and His Eminence Metropolitan Longin of Bancheny. The children gave a festive concert for their guests and presented them with Paschal baskets.

Met. Tikhon visited disabled children and children with severe illnesses, offering them his primatial blessings.

The following day, the OCA delegation made its way to the Holy Dormition-Pochaev Lavra, one of the main spiritual centers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, where it was greeted by the Lavra abbot His Eminence Metropolitan Vladimir of Pochaev, and the monastery brotherhood.

Met. Tikhon and UOC hierarchs present concelebrated a moleben at the monastery. He then presented the brotherhood with an icon of Christ “as a token of unity in Christ and gratitude for the warm welcome and hospitality.” He referred to the Lavra as “one of the brightest beacons of Orthodoxy in the world … synonymous with the steadfast confession of the holy and saving Orthodox Christian faith.”

In turn, Met. Vladimir presented Met. Tikhon with an icon of the Pochaev Mother of God.

The OCA delegation was blessed to venerate the relics of Sts. Job and Amphilochy of Pochaev. Photo: news.church.ua The OCA delegation was blessed to venerate the relics of Sts. Job and Amphilochy of Pochaev. Photo: news.church.ua     

His Beatitude and the OCA delegation then venerated the relics of Sts. Job and Amphilochy, the wonderworkers of Pochaev.

Met. Tikhon then visited the Holy Spirit Skete in Pochaev and the Theophany Convent in Kremenets.

That evening, he also visited the Cathedral of Sts. Sophia, Faith, Hope, and Love in Ternopil and Kulivtsi Monastery, where he venerated sacred treasures and met with hierarchs, clergy, monastics, and faithful.

The visit to Ukraine concluded the next day with visits to the Convent of the Entrance of the Theotokos and the residence of the Bukovina and Dalmatia metropolitans in the city of Chernivtsi.


Met. Tikhon and the OCA delegation then traveled to Romania, visiting the famous Putna Monastery June 4–5.

His Beatitude was greeted by the Putna brotherhood and abbot Archimandrite Melchisedec, who led him to the monastery church and offered a brief presentation on the history of the monastery and its saints.

On Wednesday morning, Met. Tikhon celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the monastery. He then addressed the brotherhood:

“I want to express my gratitude to His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of the Romanian Orthodox Church for the blessing and invitation to serve the Divine Liturgy here, at this sacred Monastery of Putna,” His Beatitude said following the service.

Met. Tikhon serving at Putna. Photo: Putna Monastery Met. Tikhon serving at Putna. Photo: Putna Monastery     

“And it is truly a blessing that I will bring back with me to my faithful of America, to share with them the love and hospitality of the Romanian Orthodox Church and especially of this holy monastery. The monastery is the place above all where one learns humility,” he added.

Met. Tikhon then gifted Abbot Melchisedec with an epigonation.

On Friday, June 7, Met. Tikhon and the OCA delegation were received at the Patriarchal Palace by His Grace Bishop Varlaam of Ploiești, vicar to Pat. Daniel. Bp. Varlaam offered a presentation on Church life in Romania, and Met. Tikhon emphasized the importance of the example of Romanian monasticism, especially for the OCA.


Photo: ec-patr.org Photo: ec-patr.org     

Met. Tikhon and the OCA delegation then visited the Patriarchate of Constantinople from June 7 to 10, meeting with hierarchs and members of the Patriarchal Court. On June 8, they were invited to a luncheon with Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon, Metropolitan Stephanos of Tallinn, and other hierarchs of the Patriarchate.

That evening, Met. Tikhon the delegation attended Great Vespers at the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George, where they also attended Liturgy the next morning. Following the service, they had lunch with Patriarch Bartholomew and other hierarchs. His Beatitude offering greetings to Pat. Bartholomew on his upcoming name's day, tomorrow.

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