Sikorsky, Polikarp

Image - The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox church sobor in Pynsk (1942): sitting: Oleksander Inozemtsiv, Polikarp Sikorsky; standing: Nykanor Abramovych, Rev. Yurii, Ihor Huba. Image - UAOC hierarchs in the late 1940s (first row l-r): Mykhail Khoroshy, Ihor Huba, Metr. Polikarp Sikorsky, Oleksander Inozemtsiv, Nikanor Abramovych, Mstyslav Skrypnyk, Sylvestr Haievsky.

Sikorsky, Polikarp [Сікорський, Полікарп; Sikors’kyj (secular name: Петро; Petro)], b 20 June 1875 in Zelenky, Kaniv county, Kyiv gubernia, d 22 October 1953 in Aulnay-sous-Bois, near Paris. Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox church (UAOC). A graduate of the Kyiv Theological Academy (1898) and the law faculty of Kyiv University (1910), he was a member of the Hromada of Kyiv and worked as an official of the Orthodox consistory office in Kyiv (1908–18); a section head in the Ministry of Religious Faiths of the Government-in-exile of the Ukrainian National Republic (1918–19); and deputy director of that government's Department of General Affairs in Tarnów, Poland (1919–21). He also served as a member of the All-Ukrainian Orthodox Church Council and the All-Ukrainian Church Sobor in 1917–18. An émigré in the interwar Poland, he became a hieromonk in 1922 and served as superior of Orthodox monasteries in Derman (see Derman Monastery), Myltsi, and Zahaitsi Mali in Volhynia and Vilnius in Lithuania; dean of the Dormition Cathedral in Volodymyr (1925–7); and superior of the monastery in Zhyrovichy, Belarus (1927–32). In April 1932 he was consecrated Orthodox bishop of Lutsk (see Lutsk eparchy) and vicar of Volhynia eparchy by Metropolitan Dionisii Valedinsky of the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox church, but he was unable to function fully because of Polish administrative sanctions. A member of the Commission for the Translation of the Bible and Liturgical Books (1932–9) of the Ukrainian Scientific Institute in Warsaw, he organized and headed its section in Lutsk from 1937. During the 1939–41 Soviet occupation of Western Ukraine, Sikorsky refused to recognize the authority of the Patriarch of Moscow. In August 1941, during the German occupation, Metropolitan Valedinsky elevated him to the office of archbishop of Lutsk and Kovel, and in December appointed him provisional administrator of the revived UAOC in the Reichskommissariat Ukraine. In February 1942 Sikorsky consecrated the first two bishops of the UAOC on Ukrainian territory (Nykanor Abramovych and Ihor Huba), and in May 1942 the Kyiv sobor of UAOC bishops elected him their head and a metropolitan. In January 1944 he fled from the Soviet reoccupation of Volhynia to Warsaw, and thence, in July, to Germany. From 1945 he headed the UAOC abroad from Gronau, near Hannover; from Heidenau, near Hamburg; and, from April 1950 to his death, from Paris. He is buried at the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris.

Vlasovs’kyi, Ivan. Arkhypastyrs’kyi iuvilei Vysokopreosviashchenishoho Mytropolyta Polikarpa, 1932–1952 (London 1952)

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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