List of Metropolitans and Patriarchs of Kiev

This list contains the names of all the hierarchs whose title contains a reference to the city of Kiev (except those of the Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Church who never styled themselves as either metropolitans or patriarchs in Kiev), arranged chronologically and grouped as per the jurisdictions, some of them unrecognised. Nearly all the hierarchs listed up to the 1920s, except the primates of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, belonged to the Russian Orthodox Church, under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople at certain periods.


The history of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as other Eastern Orthodox Church bodies in existence in modern Ukraine, is usually traced to the Baptism of Rus' at Kiev, the date of which is commonly given as 988; however, the evidence surrounding this event is contested (see Christianisation of Kievan Rus').

Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in Kievan Rus

Metropolitans of Kiev and all Rus' (988–1458)

In 1299 Metropolitan Maximus moves the seat from Kiev to Vladimir, title "of Kiev" retained.

Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in Grand Duchy of Moscow

Vladimir period (1299–1325)

Metropolitans of Kiev and all Rus': Photius, Theognostus and Cyprian

In 1325 the seat is moved to Moscow

Moscow period (1325–1461)

In 1448, shortly before the fall of Constantinople in 1453, with the political rise of the Grand Duchy of Moscow and the dominance of the Uniates in Constantinople, the Russian Orthodox metropolitanate became de facto autocephalous within the territory of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. After Jonah died in 1461, the reference to Kiev in the title of metropolitans in Moscow was dropped; his successors in Moscow were styled as "of Moscow and All Rus'." By 1458, the Orthodox dioceses within the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, including Kiev, were restored to the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, with a re-established Metropolitanate of Kiev (1458–1596), initially with its metropolitan episcopal see in Vilnius, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in Grand Duchy of Lithuania

Metropolitans of Kiev, Galicia and All Rus'

Patriarch Isidore II of Constantinople re-established the Metropolitanate of Kiev (1458–1596) in 1458 and gave its metropolitan a new title: Metropolitan of Kiev, Galicia, and All Rus'.

Vilno period (1458–1595)

Metropolitan of Kiev, Halych and All–Rus' Peter Mogila

In 1595 the Vilno/Kiev Metropolia signs the Union of Brest with the Catholic Church, so establishing the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. For the list of Primates in communion with the Catholic Church, see § List of Greek Catholic Primates.

Second Kiev Period (1620–1686)

In 1620 – about 25 years after the implementation of the Union of Brest – Patriarch Cyril Lucaris, of Constantinople, re-established a rival Metropolitanate of Kiev (1620–1685) with a disuniate hierarchy, within the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.[23][lower-alpha 2]

Elected in Ukraine (residence in Chyhyryn):[26]

  • Dionisius Balaban, 1657–1663 [27]
  • Joseph Nelubovich-Turalsky, 1663–1675 [28]
    • Anton Vinnicky, (anti-Metropolitan) 1663–1679 [29]
  • vacant 1679–1685

Appointed by Moscow (residence in Kiev):[26]

Following the 1654 Pereyaslav agreement, the Greek Orthodox Metropolitanate of Kiev was in 1686 transferred from the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the Moscow Patriarchate.

The Moscow Patriarchate

Metropolitans of Kiev, Galicia and of All Little Rus' (1685–1770)

Metropolitans and Archbishops of Kiev and Galicia (1770–1990)

Metropolitans and Archbishops of Kiev and Galicia (Ukrainian Autonomous Orthodox Church)

Metropolitans and Archbishops of Kiev and Galicia (Exarch of Ukraine)

In 1990 the Ukrainian Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, is given "self-ruled" status forming the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)

Metropolitans of Kiev and All Ukraine

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

Following the Union of Brest in 1596, some of the Orthodox bishops of the Metropolia of Kiev-Halych and all Rus (in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth) broke up with the Patriarch of Constantinople and placed themselves under the Bishop of Rome, thus establishing what later became known as the "Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church". The residence of the Metropolitan had to be moved in the early 17th century to Navahrudak and later to Vilnius. At first widely successful, within several decades it had lost much of its initial support, mainly due to persecution of its clergy by the Tsardom of Muscovy once those areas that had previously been part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth were conquered by Moscow, though in Galicia, which was governed by the Habsburg Empire, the church fared well and remains strong to this day.

Primates from 1596 to 1807

Metropolitan Ipatii Potii

Metropolitans of Kiev, Galich and All Rus':

Primates from 1807 to 2005

In 1807, the Greek Catholic Metropolia of Kiev, Galich and All Rus' was split to separate the territories in the Russian Empire (Metropolia of Kiev) from the those under the Habsburg Monarchy, thus elevating the Eparchy of Lviv to the rank of Metropolis and granting it the same rights of the Metropolis of Kiev.

Metropolitans of Kiev, Galich and All Rus' from 1807 to 1838

Following the Synod of Polotsk (1839), the Greek Catholic church was liquidated in the territory of the Russian Empire (except the Eparchy of Kholm), and its property and clergy transferred to the Orthodox Church.

Primates from 2005

In 2005, the two distinct Greek Catholic Metropolias of Kiev and Lviv were re-united, as was the case prior to 1807.

Major Archbishop of Kiev–Halych:

Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church

Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine (1921–1936)

Due to Soviet pressure, the UAOC is liquidated in 1936.

UAOC during World War II (1942–1944)

In 1942, Orthodox Ukrainians enjoyed somewhat increased freedom under Nazi Germans who allowed to re-establish the UAOC on its occupied territory.

This relative freedom lasted till the return of the Red Army in 1944, after that the UAOC was again liquidated and remained structured only in the diaspora. In 1944 the Orthodox Metropolitan of Warsaw, Dionizy Waledynski, was appointed "Patriarch of All Ukraine", but the Soviet Union did not allowed any operation in Ukraine.

Patriarchs of Kiev and all Rus-Ukraine from 1990

In 1990 the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church was reinstated in Ukraine, and the former Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada Metropolitan Mstyslav was enthroned as a Patriarch.

Metropolitans of Kiev and All Ukraine

The Living Church metropolitans of Kiev

In 1923, a major split occurred in the Moscow Patriarchate, with a majority (initially) of the ROC bishops joining a reformist-minded wing of the Church, supported by the OGPU, the Soviet secret police. Across the territory of the USSR, many episcopal sees in the 1920s and 1930s had 2 parallel bishops: one from the Living Church, another from the Moscow Patriarchate.

Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchate

Patriarchs of Kiev and All Rus-Ukraine

In 1992 the Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolitan Filaret, stepped down from his throne at a Russian Orthodox Church synod in Moscow, upon his return to Kiev announces a split from the Russian Orthodox Church, and a union with the UAOC's patriarchate, creating a new Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchate (UOC–KP).

After Mstyslav died in 1993, the temporary union ended and the UOC–KP and UAOC separated.

See also


  1. In 1448, bishops at Moscow elected Jonah without the approval of Patriarch Gregory III of Constantinople.
  2. King Sigismund III Vasa accused their consecrator, Theophanes III, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, of being a covert agent working on behalf of the Ottoman Empire and ordered his arrest and arrest of those consecrated by him.[24]
  3. The hierarchy which was consecrated in 1620 was legalized by the government in a 1632 agreement that permitted both the disuniate Greek Orthodox and uniate Greek Catholic jurisdictions within the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.[25]



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