His Beatitude, Metropolitan Volodymyr of Kyiv and All Ukraine, 78, fell asleep in the Lord on Saturday morning, July 5, 2014 after a lengthy illness.
His Eminence, Metropolitan Onufriy of Chernivtsi and Bukovina is serving as Locum Tenens until Metropolitan Volodymyr’s successor is elected.
Metropolitan Volodymyr will lie in state in the Dormition Cathedal of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Funeral services will be celebrated on Monday, July 7. With the blessing of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, His Grace, Bishop Alexander and Archimandrite Alexander [Pihach] are representating the Orthodox Church in America.
Additional information will be posted as it is received.
Born Victor Markiyanovich Sabodan in Ukraine’s Khmelnitsky region, on November 23, 1935, he studied at the Odessa Theological Seminary from 1954 until 1958, after which he enrolled at the Leningrad Theological Academy, from which he graduated in 1962. He went on to serve as an instructor at the Odessa Theological Seminary and held related positions. He was ordained to the diaconate on June 14, 1962 and to the priesthood the following day. On August 26 of the same year, he received monastic tonsure, receiving the name Volodymyr. After his graduation from the Moscow Theological Academy in 1965, he was named Rector of the Odessa Theological Seminary and elevated to the dignity of Archimandrite.
After a brief tenure as Deputy Head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem in 1966, he was consecrated to the episcopacy on July 9, 1966, appointed Bishop of Zvenigorod, and named representative of the Russian Orthodox Church to the World Council of Churches. He was transferred to Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky on November 28, 1968 until March 20, 1969, when he was appointed Bishop of Chernihiv and Nezhinskiy. From 1970 through 1973, he served as managing editor of the Orthodox Herald. He was appointed Bishop of Dmitrov and was elevated to the dignity of archbishop on September 9, 1973. On July 16, 1982, after his elevation to the dignity of metropolitan, he was transferred to the Diocese of Rostov and Novocherkassk. Two years later, he was appointed to serve as Patriarchal Exarch of Western Europe. He also became the Administrative Director of the Moscow Patriarchate and a permanent member of its Holy Synod on December 30, 1987. On May 28, 1992, he was elected Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine.
In addition to his episcopal ministry, Metropolitan Volodymyr was active in a variety of spheres. He was awarded honorary doctorates by several international universities and research institutes. He also was well known as a preacher, theologian and author. A six-volume edition of his writings was published in 1997-1998.