Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (Conciliar)

Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (Conciliar) [Українська Автокефальна Православна Церква—Соборноправна; Ukrainska Avtokefalna Pravoslavna Tserkva—Sobornopravna, or UAOC(C)]. A church formed in August 1947 in Aschaffenburg, Germany, following a split in the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox church (UAOC). It rejected the authority of Metropolitan Polikarp Sikorsky of the UAOC, who had disavowed many of the radical reforms adopted by the UAOC in the 1920s under Metropolitan Vasyl Lypkivsky. Initially it submitted itself to the jurisdiction of Archbishop Ioan Teodorovych, but in October 1947 Archbishop Hryhorii Ohiichuk became its ruling hierarch. It stressed its support for the reforms of the UAOC and especially the primacy of the church sobor or council as the highest authority in the church (over the episcopate). After the emigration of most of its supporters to the United States of America, Chicago became its center. In Great Britain six parishes, led by I. Hubarzhevsky and then Bishop I. Hrytsenko, also joined the UAOC(C), as did a few parishes in Australia (formerly led by Bishop D. Burtan) and South America. In the 1960s the church in the United States had 10 parishes served by 10 priests, and nearly 2,000 faithful. In 1973 it split into two factions, one under Ohiichuk and the other (the smaller) under Archbishop O. Pylypenko of Argentina and then Bishop P. Kolisnyk. The two factions reunited in 1983, and new bishops were ordained, but they subsequently split again. In 1989 the two factions of the UAOC(C) claimed 5 bishops, 15 parishes, 12 priests, 2 deacons, and a few thousand faithful. The official press organ of the majority faction of the church, Pravoslavnyi ukraïnets’, was published irregularly in Germany and then in Chicago and Detroit; the opposition faction, which was grouped around the Metropolitan Lypkivsky Ukrainian Orthodox Brotherhood, published the journal Tserkva i zhyttia (Chicago) (1957–77).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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