On 24 February, “Metropolitan” M A Kudryakov of Kiev and all the Ukraine, the head of the schismatical “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church” (UAPTs), died in Kiev at the age of 66 after a long illness. According to the UAPTs, F A Denisenko, the head of the schismatical “Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kiev Patriarchate” (UPTs/KP), expressed condolences to the bishops, clergy, and believers of the UAPTs, and to the family and friends of the deceased. Kudryakov was born 11 March 1949. He graduated from the Moscow Theological Academy and .became a priest in 1981. The then-head of the schismatical UPTs/KP, V Ye Romanyuk, made him a “bishop” in 1995.
The UAPTs began on 19 August 1989 as part of the schismatical “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in the Diaspora”. The Local Sobor of 5-6 June 1990 elected “Metropolitan” M I Skripnik as the head of this “church”, after whose death some bishops of the UAPTs came under the MP’s jurisdiction, others went under the so-called UPTs/KP. On 7 September 1993, the second UAPTs Local Sobor elected D V Yarema as “Patriarch of Kiev and all the Ukraine”, who died in 2000. After him, the Local Sobor elected Kudryakov as head of the UAPTs. In the Ukraine, the UAPTs has 11 dioceses, led by a Diocesan Council. There were 556 parishes in 2001, served by 409 priests. The UAPTs is in canonical limbo.
The UAPTs in the Ukraine arose as a rebellion of disaffected priests banned by Denisenko from the ministry; they went into schism by setting up a structure headed by Yarema, who became the “patriarch” of the UAPTs. The breakaway priests realised that Denisenko had overstretched his powers. The only way they found to resolve the conflict was to kick Filaret out of the church. In recent years, the UAPTs, unlike Denisenko, didn’t take extreme Russophobic positions, so, it’s very difficult to predict what will happen now in this structure, because we didn’t particularly monitor them. I note that Kudryakov wasn’t a notorious hawk; he thought that Denisenko was responsible for the death of his predecessor Romanyuk. The UPTs/KP has three times as many locations as the UAPTs does in Ternopol, Lvov, and Ivano-Frankovsk Oblasts. However, the UAPTs is set in its ways, they aren’t working for union; they prefer to remain in schism. Yet, they’re not akin to Filaret’s mafia-like structure; unlike the UPTs/KP, they refused to seize UPTs/MP parishes violently. The UAPTs has explored routes for it to seek a canonical resolution with the recognised Orthodox Church.
25 February 2015
Head, Synodal Information Department, UPTs/MP
Russkaya Narodnaya Liniya