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PatriarchPatriarch of Kyiv and all Rus-Ukraine Filaret (in the world, Mykhailo Antonovych Denysenko) was born on January 23, 1929 in  Blagodatne village of Amvrosiyivka district, Donetsk region in the family of workers. In 1946, after graduating from high school, he entered the 3d class of Odessa Theological Seminary and graduated from it with honors and the same year he entered Moscow Theological Academy. Studying at the II year, January 1, 1950 he was tonsured with the name Filaret.

On January 15, 1950 by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy he was ordained to the rank of hierodeacon and on June 18, 1951 (Holy Trinity Day) - of hieromonk.

In 1952 he graduated from Moscow Theological Academy with a scientific degree of theology and was appointed as a professor of New Testament scripture in Moscow Theological Seminary.

At the same time served as a Dean in Trinity-Sergius Lavra. Since 1953 –he had been a professor at Moscow Theological Academy. In the 1953-54 academic year, the Academic Council of Moscow Theological Academy assigned the  hieromonk Filaret a title of Associate Professor.
 
Moreover, in 1953 he was appointed a senior assistant inspector of Moscow Theological Academy and Seminary.

In 1956 he was appointed to the post of inspector of Saratov Theological Seminary with elevation to the rank of Abbot.

In 1957 he was appointed inspector of Kyiv Theological Seminary, and on July 12, 1958, he was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite and appointed to the position of rector in Kyiv Theological Seminary.

In 1960 Archimandrite Filaret was appointed to be Administrator of the Ukrainian Exarchate and Dean of St. Volodymyr Cathedral in Kyiv, and from June 1961 to January 1962 he was a rector of the branch of the Russian Orthodox Church of Alexandria Patriarchate in Alexandria (UAR).

On January 12, 1962, by the approval of His Holiness Patriarch Alexy and the Holy Synod Archimandrite Filaret was elected Bishop of Luga, Vicar of the Diocese of Leningrad, in order to manage the Riga diocese. On February 4, 1962 he was ordained as Bishop in Leningrad, which was held by Metropolitan Pymen (Izvekov), Archbishop Nicodemus (Rotov), Archbishop Kiprian (Zernov), Bishop Mishael (Voskresensky), Bishop Michael (Chub), Bishop Nicodemus (Rusnyak) and other bishops.

From June 13 to October 1962 he performed duties of Exarch of Central Europe. After the formation of the diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church in Austria in October 1962 he was appointed Bishop of Vienna and Austria. On December 12, 1964, he was appointed Bishop of Dmytrov, Vicar of Moscow diocese, rector of Moscow Theological Academy and Seminary. On May 14, 1966, he was elevated to the rank of archbishop and appointed Exarch of Ukraine, Archbishop of Kyiv and Galicia, a permanent member of the Holy Synod.

On February 25, 1968 His Holiness Patriarch Alexy elevated him to the rank of Metropolitan. In 1971 His Holiness Patriarch Pymen awarded him the right to wear two encolpions.

In 70s- 80s Metropolitan Filaret led active church community activities. He led and participated in the work of many local and international conferences, including commissions, in the II (1963), III (1968), IV (1971) and V (1978) All-Christian Peace Congresses in Prague. In 1977 he became a Vice-President of the Christian Peace Congress.

In 1970 he headed the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church in the World religious conference "Religion of peace" (Kyoto, Japan).

1974 he participated in the II World Conference "Religion of peace" in Louvain (Belgium). At the III Assembly in Princeton (SIM) he was elected Vice-President of the International Conference "Religion and Peace." In 1982 he headed the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church at the World Conference "Religious figures for the salvation of the sacred gift of life from nuclear catastrophe."

1965 he was at Helsinki World Congress in defense of peace. In 1967 at Berlin Congress, and in 1973 he participated in Moscow Congress of peace-loving forces. He participated in the International Conference on European Security in the city of Vienna (Austria).

In June 1983 he was at the Prague World Assembly "For peace and life, against the nuclear threat." He participated in the Conference of NGOs on Disarmament (Geneva, 1978).

In 1982 as a member of the HMK delegation he participated in the II Special Session of UN General Assembly on Disarmament.

In 1966 he was elected deputy chairman of the society of friendship "the USSR - Greece." He took part in the councils of unions of soviet societies of friendship and cultural relations with foreign countries, "Ukraine" society, Ukrainian Peace Committee and the Commission to promote the Soviet Peace Fund.

In 1970 by the Academy Council he was elected an honorary member of Moscow Theological Academy, in 1973 - an honorary member of Leningrad Theological Academy.

On October 14, 1979 in the Reformed Theological Academy of Budapest Metropolitan Filaret was awarded an honorary doctorate degree on theology "Honoris causa" and on May 20, 1980, he received a Doctor of Theology "Honoris causa” Presov theological faculty.

In the publications of the Moscow Patriarchate, "Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate" and "Orthodox Journal" his theological articles, reports, messages, sermons were published at different times. These include: "Works of Saints Cyril and Methodius in the Russian state in the Russian historical literature" (JMP, 1967, № 3, p.55-58), "Remarks on the report of the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1971" . (Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church. Documents and Materials 1972, Moscow, p.170-176), “Catholism of  Ecumenical  and local Church" (JMP 1980, № 10, p.41-46), "On the fifth All-Christian Peace Congress "(JMP, 1979, № 2, p.43-49)," Nativity of Christ. Orthodox interpretation of the Gospel of Matthew and Luke "(The Orthodox Bulletin, 1974, № 1, p.21-30)," Epiphany. Orthodox interpretation of the Gospel of Mf.3 ,1-17; Mf.1 ,2-11; Lk.3 ,1-22) Orthodox Bulletin, 1974 № 2, p.22-29); Annunciation. The Gospel of Lk.1 ,26-38 "(Orthodox Bulletin, 1974, № 3, p.23-26)," Evangelical Orthodox interpretation of stories of the resurrection of Christ "(The Orthodox Bulletin, 1979, № 4, p.21 -27; № 5, p.16-21; № 6, p.18-23): "The Orthodox view of the mysterious and miraculous in religion" (The Orthodox Bulletin, 1975, № 2, p.18-21); "Local Church and Universal Church" (JMP, 1981, № 4, p.60-67), "Report on the celebration of the 35th anniversary of Lviv Church Cathedral in 1946" (JMP. 1981, № 10, p.6-13 ), "Report at the opening session of the Committee to continue the work in HMK in Yeyzenas on  October 14, 1980" (JMP, 1981, № 1, p.38-41; № 2 p.46-50), "On the spiritual image of Jesus Christ by Gospel "(JMP, 1981, № 5, p.55-60)," On the decision of the Second Before–Council Pan-Orthodox  meeting"(JMP, 1983, № 8, p.53-55: №9,46-49;N 10,p.44-47; N 11,p.43-46).

Metropolitan Filaret took part in UNESCO conference to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of Baptism of Rus. All work on preparation and holding of the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia was led by Metropolitan Filaret.
After the death of Patriarch Pimen on May 3, 1990 at the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church by secret ballot Metropolitan Filaret was elected the Throne-keeper of Moscow Patriarchal Throne. He was a chairman of the Local Council of ROC on June7-8, 1990.

The bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, by the initiative of Metropolitan Filaret, adopted an appeal to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II and the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church for the autonomy and independence in management of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. On October 25-27, 1990 Bishops' Council of the ROC gave the UOC autonomy and independence in managing, and Metropolitan Filaret was unanimously elected the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church by Ukrainian bishops with the title of Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine. On October 26, 1990 in St.Sophia Cathedral after the Divine Liturgy, Patriarch Alexy II announced the decision of the Council of Bishops of the ROC and presented Metropolitan Filaret Patriarchial charter for the right to be the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

On August 24, 1991, after adoption by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine the decision on the proclamation of Ukraine's independence, on the initiative of Metropolitan Filaret on November 1-3, 1991, the All-Ukrainian Orthodox Church Local Council was held. It unanimously decided on the full canonical independence, that is autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The Council appealed to Patriarch Alexy II and the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church with this decision, but the Bishops' Council of the ROC on April 1-2,1992 rejected to provide autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Patriarch Alexy II decided to eliminate Metropolitan Filaret of the office of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the non-canonical way and to put in his place his protege - Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan). On June 26, 1992, in violation of the canons, the Statute of the UOC and resolutions of the Episcopal Council of the ROC on autonomy and independence in the management of the UOC, by the  prescript of Patriarch Alexy II in Kharkiv the "Council" that illegally chose another metropolitan of Kyiv the council was convened. It was Metropolitan Vladimir (Sabodan), who had been the Administrator of the Moscow Patriarchate of the ROC before the election.

On June 11, 1992 Bishops 'Council of the ROC decided to punish Metropolitan Filaret in this way on intention to separate from the Russian Orthodox Church in order to form Local Ukrainian Orthodox Church, but Metropolitan Filaret did not admit guilt and did not obey the decision of the Council, believing it to be non-canonical and illegal.

On June 25, 1992 All- Ukrainian Local Council was held, which proclaimed the union of the part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church into a single Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate. The Council declared illegal the resolutions of the ROC Council of Bishops and elected Metropolitan Mstislav (Skrypnyk) to the post of Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine. Metropolitan Filaret was elected a Deputy Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine.

Metropolitan Filaret despite all the attacks and intrigues continued to struggle for creation of the Local Orthodox Church in Ukraine .

In October 1995, at the All-Ukrainian Local Council Metropolitan Filaret was elected Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine. He effectively works to develop the Local Orthodox Church in Ukraine, does a lot for the unification of Orthodox believers of Ukraine in the bosom of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate.

 Consecrated Bishop’s Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate on December 12,1996 under the chairmanship of Patriarch Filaret, after careful study of life and consecrator’s ministry of Metropolitan of Kyiv Petro Mohyla, canonized the Kyiv Metropolitan and attached him to the great saints. In the meeting of the UNESCO session in Paris, dedicated to the 400th anniversary of  Metropolitan Petro Mohyla, Patriarch Filaret participated and presented a speech about the glorious consecrator’s path of the Metropolitan and his contribution to the development of Ukrainian Orthodoxy.

On July 3, 1996 in Sofia (Bulgaria) Patriarch Filaret took part in the National- Church Council of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, which was attended by 95 delegates, 90 of whom voted for the election of the oldest by elevation bishop, Metropolitan of Nevrokopsk Pimen, to the post of Patriarch, and on July 4 in the church of St. Paraskeva in Sofia - in the enthronement of His Holiness Patriarch Pimen.

On the invitation of His Holiness Ukraine was repeatedly visited by the Primate of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church - Archbishop of Tsetinie, Metropolitan of Montenegro, Michael.

By the 2000th anniversary of Nativity of Christ on the initiative of His Holiness Patriarch Filaret had established Church and Society Committee for the actions dedicated to the remarkable jubilee in the history of Christianity. The first such event on the way to the anniversary was the All-Ukrainian International Christian Assembly, held with the participation of the Kyiv Patriarchate in February, 1998. In the Assembly, its events were attended by a large number of scholars, religious and public figures. Kyiv Patriarchate has established a regular dialogue with intellectuals and finds their broad support in its activities in the spiritual sphere.

For years of Patriarchal ministry he toured with the archpastor’s visits almost all over Ukraine, met with bishops, clergy, believers of all dioceses in Ukraine and abroad. With effective participation of His Holiness Patriarch Filaret St. Michael's monastery, churches of Dormition of Blessed Virgin Mary (Pirogoscha), Nativity of Christ and many other churches in Kyiv and throughout Ukraine emerged from the ruins.

Since 2000 seven volumes of the complete collection of epistles, sermons, speeches, addresses and reports of His Holiness have been published.

In his speech to the Local Council in January, 2001 he outlined the foundations of social doctrine of the Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate.

Patriarch Filaret supported the visit of Pope John Paul II to Ukraine, took part in a meeting of the Holy Father with the members of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and religious organizations.

In late 2003, he was a founding member of the Conference of Representatives of Christian Churches of Ukraine.

On July 15, 2004 in the premises of the St.Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery the Local Council was convened, where the Patriarch summed up the achievements of Kyiv Patriarchate for the nine-year period, showing the dynamics of its growth, outlined the prospects for the future. The Council canonized Reverend Job (1550 - 1621) and Theodosius of Manyava (the second half. of 16th century. - 1629) and St.Arseny Matsievich (1697 - 1772), Metropolitan of Rostov.

On July 24-26, 2005 Patriarch Filaret visited Tripoli (Libya), where the conference of the Association of the World Islamic Call had meetings with Islamic leaders, as well as with representatives of the Roman Catholic and Coptic communities.

On December 13, 2005 at State Opera House of Ukraine the I Ukrainian Church- Public forum "For the Ukrainian Local Orthodox Church “was held. The main event of the Forum was the presentation of the Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine Filaret. Analytical and publicly accessible report of the Patriarch both highlighted the genesis of the dramatic division of Orthodoxy in Ukraine and its dangerous impact on modern history.

On May 13, 2006 by the resolution of the Holy Synod headed by Patriarch of All Rus-Ukraine Filaret the vector on the reform of education in religious educational establishments of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate was taken.  Kyiv and Lviv Orthodox Theological Academies, the seminaries in Lutsk and Rivne, Theological Institute in Ivano-Frankivsk, Theological department of Philosophical-Theological Faculty of Chernivtsi National University function fruitfully.

On April 15, 2007 under the chairmanship of Patriarch Filaret Bishop’s Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate was held. One of the key decisions of it was historical and canonical Declaration "Kyiv Patriarchy - the Local Ukrainian Orthodox Church."

On June 12, 2007 in Ukrainian House, the second All-Ukrainian Church-Public forum "For the Ukrainian Local Orthodox Church", which fully supported and endorsed the historical and canonical declaration, was held . His Holiness in his report noted that the Only Local Church is the task both for Church and State, and therefore appreciated the President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko's initiatives regarding the unification of the divided Orthodoxy in Ukraine.

On the occasion of the 900th anniversary of St. Michael's Monastery and celebration the 1020th anniversary of Baptism of Kyivan Rus-Ukraine on July 11, 2008 His Holiness Patriarch Filaret headed the Local Council of Church, and on July 19, 2008 at St. Michael's Square in Kyiv - a solemn Divine Liturgy was celebrated. The joint celebratory service was attended by about a thousand priests and more than 15 thousand of faithful.

Owing to the hard work of the Patriarch all the liturgical books needed for the celebration of worship were translated. He will go down in history as the fourth Bible translator into Ukrainian. With the blessing of Patriarch Filaret a million copies of God's law was printed and distributed free of charge. The purpose of the event is that this book on the fundamentals of the divine teachings come to every house, enter each family.

Over the years of the Primacy of His Holiness Patriarch Filaret the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate has grown considerably. In 1995 the Patriarchate had 1,200 parishes, now - more than 4000, then 15 bishops belonged to the church, now - 38, which corresponds to the number of dioceses: in 1995 there were 12, now - 33. According to opinion polls Kyiv Patriarchate was supported by over 30% of adult population of Ukraine (for comparison - the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine was supported by about 20%, i.e. 6.5 million people). In December 2006, in the capital of Ukraine Kyiv, 52% of respondents identified themselves to the Kyiv Patriarchate, and only 8% - to the Moscow Patriarchate.
 
Church awards:

According to the church merits he was awarded the Orders of the Russian Orthodox Church, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Bulgarian and Georgian, Polish, Czechoslovak Patriarchates and Churches.

In 1999, according to the decision of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate, Patriarch Filaret was awarded the Order of Saint Prince Volodymyr the Great, First Degree.

In 2004, according to the decision of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate, Patriarch Filaret was awarded the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle.

State Awards:

On January 22, 1979 Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR for patriotic activities in defense of peace he was awarded the Order of "Friendship of Peoples."

He was awarded the Order of Red Banner of Labor.

Patriarch Filaret - Full Cavalier of the Order of Yaroslav the Wise (1999 - V st., 2001 - fourth st., 2004 - the third st., 2006 - II st., 2008 - I st.).

In 2009, Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko awarded Patriarch Filaret the Order of Liberty.

In 2010, Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko awarded Patriarch Filaret with the honor of President of Ukraine - Ivan Mazepa's Cross.

In 2010, Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko presented to His Holiness the highest government award - Diploma of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.