Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine reposes in the Lord

The head of the Ukranian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and all Ukraine reposed in the Lord on 5 July 2014. 

The entirety of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Orthodox world mourns the loss of His Beatitude Vladimir, Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine. His Beatitude reposed early in the morning on July 5 at the age of 79 after months of a serious illness. Metropolitan Vladimir especially has ties to the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA as he presided along with then Bishop Clement of Serpukhov and Bishop Makary (Svistun +2007) at the Great Consecration of Three Saints Church in Garfield NJ in July of 1984.

The Locum Tenens of the Kiev Metropolis, His Eminence Onufry of Chernovtsy and Bukovina will fulfill the duties of Church Primate until a new primate is elected. 

Biography of Metropolitan Vladimir 

 Metropolitan Vladimir (Viktor Markiyanovich Sabodan) was born on November 23, 1935 in the Markovtsi village (Letychiv district, Khmelnitsky region, Ukraine) into a peasant family.

 At 9 years of age he began to carry out his obedience at the St. Archangel Michael Church in his village. After completing the Medzhybozh high school, he studied at the Odessa Theological Seminary (1954 -1958). In 1958, he entered the Leningrad Theological Academy, which he graduated from in 1962 with a degree in Theology for his work “Christ the Savior – King of the Universe”. He taught at the Odessa Theological Seminary, served as senior assistant inspector while simultaneously holding the post of Secretary of the Odessa diocese. On June 14, 1962, Metropolitan Boris (Vik) of Kherson and Odessa ordained him a deacon, on June 15 into a priest, and on August 26, Father Victor was tonsured a monk with the name of Vladimir (in honor of St. Vladimir of Kiev).

 In 1965, after graduating from the Moscow Theological Academy graduate school, he was appointed Rector of the Odessa Theological Seminary and also elevated to the rank of Archimandrite. In 1966, he was appointed deputy head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem. On June 23, 1966, he was appointed to become the Bishop of Zvenigorod, Vicar of the Moscow Diocese, and designated to act as the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church in the World Council of Churches. His Episcopal consecration was conferred on July 9, 1966 by Pimen I (Izvekov) of Krutitsa and Kolomna, later the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia of Moscow, in the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra at the Assumption Cathedral. On November 28, 1968, Bishop Vladimir was moved to Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky of the Kiev diocese. On March 20, 1969, he was appointed Bishop of Chernigov and Nezhinskiy, while also temporarily heading the Diocese of Sumy.

 From the years 1970-1973, Bishop Vladimir was the managing editor of the journal “Orthodox Herald”. On April 18, 1973, he was appointed Bishop of Dmitrov, vicar of the Moscow diocese, Rector of the Moscow Theological Academy and Seminary, and on September 9 consecrated an Archbishop. On April 18, 1978 he was given the title Professor of the Moscow Theological Academy. On June 5, 1979, in the Moscow Theological Seminary, Archbishop Vladimir defended his master’s thesis: “Ecclesiology in Domestic Theology”.

 On March 3, 1976, he was part of the Commission on Christian Unity, and in 1978 a member of the Commission on the preparation and celebration of the 60th anniversary of the resumption of the Patriarchate in the Orthodox Church. From 1981-1988 was part of the Committee on the preparation and celebration of the Millennium of the Baptism of Russia.

 After being made a Metropolitan on July 16, 1982, Vladyka headed the Rostov and Novocherkassk diocese. On March 28, 1984, Metropolitan Vladimir was appointed as the Patriarchal Exarch of Western Europe. On December 30, 1987, he became the Administrative Director of the Moscow Patriarchate and a permanent member of the Holy Synod. In1989, Vladyka temporarily managed the Hague Diocese (Netherlands). In the late 1980’s, Metropolitan Vladimir actively participated in social activities. On September 16, 1988, at the founding conference of the Soviet Charity and Health Foundation, Vladyka was elected member of the Presidium and the Foundation Board. In 1988, he became a member of the Central Election Commission during the elections of People’s Deputies of the USSR. On April 10, 1989, Vladyka headed the Committee that studied materials relating to the rehabilitation of Russian Orthodox Church clergy and laity.

 When Vladyka Vladimir was appointed the Metropolitan of Kiev, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church had only four seminaries and academies, whereas in 2004, the number of church institutions increased to 15. About four thousand Sunday schools currently function. Today, the Ukrainian Church has more than 100 periodicals in many dioceses and positive relationships with regional television and radio broadcasting companies that promote the preaching of God’s Word.

 Metropolitan Vladimir is an Honorary Doctor of several international universities and research institutions, a full member of the International Informational Support Academy (the UN Environmental and Social Council) and the International Personnel Academy Council of Europe.

 In March 1996, Metropolitan Vladimir was elected Honorary President of the UN International Committee gathered to organize the celebration of the 2000th anniversary of Christ’s birth.

 His Beatitude Metropolitan Vladimir was well-known as a preacher, theologian and spiritual writer. From 1997-1998 a six-volume edition of his works was published.

 On July 9, 2006, according to a decision of the Uzhgorod Theological Academy of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Metropolitan Vladimir was awarded the title of a Doctor of Philosophy.

 On July 29 in the same year, His Beatitude Metropolitan Vladimir became a member of the National Union of Journalists.

On July 5, 2014 His Beatitude reposed in the Lord. 


The burial service for His Beatitude Metropolitan Vladimir will be conducted on July 7, in the square before the Cathedral of the Dormition of the Laura of the Caves in Kiev. He will be buried at the Laura cemetery, near the Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God, reports, referring to the website of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.