Valedinsky, Dionisii

Valedinsky, Dionisii [Валединский, Дионисий; Valedinskij, Dionisij] (secular name: Константин; Konstantin), b 16 May 1876 in Murom, Russia, d 15 March 1960 in Warsaw. Russian Orthodox hierarch. After graduating from the Kazan Theological Academy he spent most of his early career in Ukraine, where he served as a rector of the Kholm Theological Seminary (1903–11) and then as bishop of Kremianets (from 1913). In 1918 he supported the creation of an independent Ukrainian church, participated in the All-Ukrainian Church Sobor in Kyiv, and was a member of the All-Ukrainian Higher Holy Council. In 1919 he became acting bishop of Polish-occupied Volhynia, and in 1923, metropolitan of the Orthodox church in Poland, with his see in Warsaw. In this capacity he encouraged the revival of Ukrainian church traditions and approved the translation of liturgical texts into the contemporary Ukrainian language and their use in services. Under his leadership the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox church was formally granted autocephaly by the patriarch of Constantinople in 1924. During the Second World War Valedinsky gave his blessing to the revival of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox church and designated Polikarp Sikorsky as administrator of the church. After the war he was interned by the Polish communist government, which stripped him of the title of metropolitan in 1945. He was also excommunicated by the Russian Orthodox church. After several years under house arrest (at Sosnowiec) he was allowed to return to Warsaw, where he died in poverty.

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

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