His Holiness Patriarch Volodymir Romaniuk established the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Western Europe and Canada in December 1993 AD – almost 30 years ago, for service to the Ukrainian diaspora. There seems to be somewhat confusion between the “Milan Synod” and our Ukrainian Archdiocese of Western Europe and Canada: from the 20th of February of 1997 AD – these two realities are thus two completely different entities. Hence, the Synod of Milan and Aquileia was created by the former Metropolitan of Milan immediately after the canonical relationship between he and the Patriarch of Kiev fragmented on the 20th February of 1997 AD as previously mentioned above. Yet, the Archdiocese of Western Europe and Canada continued its canonical existence – remote from all ecclesial upheavals of the time from December of 1993 AD along with its two bishops; safeguarding the mission of the Archdiocese (as proved in the patriarchal bull and canonical epistles of 1997 to 1998 AD between the patriarch and the two bishops: Metropolitan Basilio of Ostia and Metropolitan Volodymir of St. Julius) in remaining part of the autonomous metropolis!
Therefore, this synod has 9 bishops along with various parishes and monasteries throughout Western Europe and Canada – exclusively at the service of the Diaspora. Thus, when the Patriarchate of Kiev still existed canonically speaking (dissolved in 2018 AD) ceased canonical relations with the sole Metropolitan of Milan.Yet, t he Patriarchate never annulled its canonical relationship with the Synod of Western Europe and Canada, for it continued to honour the Tomos (decree) bestowed upon the Synod – remaining an active canonical entity along with its autonomous ecclesial rights of direction as decreed. Furthermore, the Holy Canons do not express themselves regarding the possibility of a Mother Church to withdraw a Tomos (Decree) of autonomy or autocephaly. (A fact that is absent in all of ecclesial history) Such laws prescribe that: when a Metropolitan is excluded from the Holy Synod, (should the Metropolitan dishonour the Tomos – the Patriarch intervenes) thus, presidency of that very synod is awarded/passes to the most senior hierarch of the synod (i.e.: Metropolitan Basilio) whilst the former Metropolitan’s right to elect and consecrate bishops in the name of the Church is withheld. Such rights remained with the remainder of the synodal bishops – Vladika Basilio (deceased) and his Eminence Metropolitan Volodymir of St. Julius Island. Having stated thus, no Synod of Milan or Metropolis of Aquileia may ever substitute the Holy Synod which the saintly Patriarch Volodymir established along with the rights of its bishops which have never been excommunicated or vacated the Autonomous Metropolis of Western Europe and Canada. Moreover, the original copy of the Sacred Tomos was bestowed in the very hands of the Metropolitan of Milan on the 14th March in 1994AD for these inscribed upon the holy parchment represented the Holy Synod. Thus, on the 20th February of 1997 AD the Metropolitan of Milan should have fulfilled his canonical duty in handing over that very Tomos to the Holy Synod; failing to do so via withholding thus as if it were a personal document. Hence, due to such canonical violations, the Holy Synod of the Autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Western Europe and Canada possesses a copy of the sacred original; yet the original is in the personal possession of the bishop of the Metropolis of Aquileia and his entourage. Hence, reaffirming the canonicity and continuation (as thus was never dissolved) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Archdiocese of Western Europe and Canada, the Archdiocese is now more alive and active than ever through the protection of the Mother of God, the intercessions of our saints and in particular, through the prayers of our saintly Patriarch Volodymir Romaniuk whose desire of service to the diaspora was close to his heart. Further, the two bishops of the ancient synod under the patronage of Patriarch Volodymir Romaniuk – Metropolitan Vassiliji (Basilio – who reposed on the 19th December 2021 AD) and Metropolitan Volodymir of St. Julius remain canonically sound within the Holy Synod which was never dissolved nor tarnished; a grace from God and an irony of fate. Therefore, all that which came to pass has in actual fact allowed the survival of the diaspora of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – according to the will of the saintly Patriarch Volodymir Romaniuk! Hence, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the Diaspora lives in the Archdiocese of Western Europe and Canada, within its Eparchies, Monasteries and Parishes. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has bestowed autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine and further maintained a rather aggressive tone towards the diaspora! The Ukrainian Orthodox Archdiocese of Western Europe and Canada declines from casting stones towards the concept of the Great Church – embodied in the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The clear fact of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is that it has never desired to dialogue with the two canonical bishops of the Archdiocese – Metropolitans Basilio and Volodymir; notwithstanding then several attempts made in fraternal wholehearte ess. In conclusion, the Autonomous Ukrainian Church of Western Europe and Canada continues in providing service in Holy Orthodoxy via true discipleship to the mandate bestowed her via the saintly Patriarch of Kiev His Holiness Volodymir Romaniuk. Thus, the 9 bishops that compose the body of the Holy Synod of the Autonomous Metropolis of Western Europe and Canada – within the 1993 AD Patriarchate of Kiev were all consecrated in the Apostolic Succession of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad via the hands of Metropolitan Basilio and Metropolitan Volodymir who were its last bishops. The Holy Synod affirms that there is no relationship with our Apostolic Succession – consecrations within the Autonomous Metropolis of Western Europe and Canada to the Apostolic Succession of Patriarch Philaret who was anathematized by Orthodox Christendom on the 23rd February in 1997AD which stands till this very day – a controversy within the Church!
† † † His Grace Vladika Volodymir Archbishop of Saint Julius, Metropolitan of Western Europe and Canada – Exarch for Italy, Switzerland and Central Europe –
See of Milan
† His Eminence Vladika Rafael Archbishop Laudensis, Metropolitan of Melbourne, Australia and New Zeland (Vice President) – Exarch of the British Isles
† His Eminence Vladika Evgenij Metropolitan of Setabis and Astigis – Exarch of Spain and Portugal
† His Eminence Vladika Vladimir Metropolitan of Podgorica and All Montenegro Exarchial Vicar for Central Europe
† His Eminence Vladika Nicolas, Archbishop of Saint Gaule and Saint Marinus
† His Eminence Vladika Cyrille, Archbishop of Ville de Québec – Exarch of Canada
† His Eminence Vladika Andrew, Bishop of Lomellus – Vicar Bishop of See of Milan
† His Excellence Vladika Basil, Bishop of Arles – Exarch of France
† His Excellence Vladika Nicolas, Bishop of Toul – Vicar Bishop of See of Milan
† His Excellence Vladika Matthew, Bishop of Lodève – Vicar Bishop of See of Milan
Arch-Secretar of the Holy Synod: Mons. Matthew, Bishop of Lodève
Orthodox Archdiocese of St. Julius Island – all Right reserved © copyright 1995