Tul’chinskaya Diocese, Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Moscow Patriarchate
The Nativity Cathedral

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In October 1835 the former Catholic church was consecrated by the Right Reverend Cyril, the Archbishop for Podoliya and Braclaw as an Orthodox church, namely the Nativity Church.
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Archbishop Ionaphan (Jonathan), civil name – Anatoli Ivanovich Eletskikh (the Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow), spiritual composer, D.D., the author of numerous liturgical works and interpretations, was born on the 30-th day of January in the year of 1949 in the village of Shatalovka, Starooskolski Rayon, Voronezh Region (at present Byelgorodskaya) in Russia. His roots are traced to the ancient Eletskikh faded family line of princely ancestors of his father – Ivan Fyodorovich, while he was also related through his mother’s Olga Semenovna grandfather to the Bryansk Old Ritualists family. Since 1951 he resided in Severomorsk of Murmansk Region. In 1961 he moved to Kiev, since his father, military officer at that time, has been transferred by order. As soon as the boy became 16, he started singing and acting as an epistler in different Kiev churches. Since 1968 till 1970 he joined and served in the army. When he was 17 he secretly took the vows of a novice for the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Laura. He entered the Leningrad School of Theology (LST), being the mitres’ obedientiary for Nicodemus (Rotov), subdeacon of Leningrad and Novgorod, as well as he studied spiritual music at regents’ studio for the LST (music director of the regents’ studio – Nikolai Dmitrievich Uspenski, D.D., Prof., historian, liturgician, musical scientist). Since 1974 till 1976 he studied at the Leningrad School of Theology (LST), acted as the regent of the students’ choir by the LST’s cathedral.

In 1976 he took the monastic vows and entered the church as a hierodeacon, being imposed by the Metropolitan of Leningrad and Novgorod, Nicodemus (Rotov). In 1978 he then was imposed by Cyril (Gundiayev), Archbishop for Vyborg, Rector for the LST (now His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia) as a hieromonk.

In 1980 he successfully defended his course thesis «Religious- and Morale Doctrine by Rev. Theodore the Studite», being awarded the Doctor’s of Divinity (D.D.) Degree. Since 1987 he is one of the Doctoral Scholars of the LST and the church liturgics singing lecturer for the LST. Since he was informed against with the KGB as the person to disperse the illegal anti-regime book “The Gulag Archipelago» by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, he had to flee from Leningrad to Ukraine, where he served for several churches of Kiev.

Since 1988 was in charge of regent’s duties, at the same time he was in charge of acting as the abbot for the Kievo-Pecherskaya (Cave Monastery) Laura, and later – having been promoted by the Kiev Metropolitan Philaret (Denisenko), ordered by the Russian Orthodox Church’s Holy Synod and by the decree by Pimen, His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, acted as the confirmed and approved abbot for the Kievo-Pecherskaya Laura.

He recreated the canonic tradition while servicing at church, adopted and acted as the patron of the well-known spiritual poet and author-singer hieromonk Roman (Matyushin), provided reconstruction of churches in ruin, as well as the monastery and the seminary buildings within the Kievo-Pecherskaya Laura, it was he who testified the profuse oil of consecration discharge from the unknown reverends’ heads kept in Remote Caves of the Laura, and gave his permission to determine the nature of myrrh sample scientifically.

Since December, 1993 - the Ruling Bishop for the newly formed Glukhovskaya diocese (Ukraine, Sumy region). After long-standing atheistic devastation he revived the famous Glinskiy monastery. In 1994 he was honored the rank of an archbishop. Since 1995 keeps the office of Sumy diocese (Ukrainian Orthodox Church). Restored the Sumy pastoral- theological school. He was also the initiator of the official site to be created for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church “Orthodoxy in Ukraine” (now similar information-analytical portal). At the height of critical attacks “from different parts” in regard of the activity and missionary transactions of the professor of MDA, deacon Andrey (Kuraev), gave the latter all blessings for the publication of some of his “sharp” books. He also gave his blessings for the Moscow Saint-Philaret’s Theological Institute for the publication of liturgical translations into the Russian language. In March 1999 he was assigned to the Kherson department. It was for the first time after the revolution of 1917 that collaboration activities were fixed with Kherson intelligentsia from the part of church. Together with the rectorate of the State Kherson University there were international scientific readings organized at the University having church-historical thematic. Under his patronage there was the yearly summer orthodox children's camp “God’s Bee” organized in the Kherson diocese to accommodate and provide orthodox and Evangelical-Lutheran young people from Germany and Kherson.

In Hildesheim (Germany) assumed the participation in the organization of the working camps for Catholic and orthodox young people. Used to regularly provide bringing of Kherson children, sick with leukemia, to be medically treated to Italy (Padova diocese), attended orphanages, prisons and hospices of Kherson region. During the period since 2004 till 2006 practiced the service of the so-called “missionary liturgies” for the neophytes in the Kherson Cathedral (Holy Spirit Cathedral) with open reading of Eucharistic prayers in Russian or Ukrainian and with the brief explanation of the rites of the liturgy (in 2006 this practice was reflected in the concept of missionary activity (Russian Orthodox Church). He also accomplished the ancient Divine liturgy according to Apostle Jacob and the great liturgy of the liturgy of pre-sanctified gifts (in the evening time). Basic themes of missionary sermon were patristical or related to the Church Fathers’ study about the church and those based on the Liturgy of the Faithful. Author of three Russian interpretations of the Great Kanon by Andrew of Crete (including metro-rhythmic) the author of unique “Intelligent Guide on the Divine Liturgy” - training general education benefit with the extensive historical-theological commentary and the account of Eucharistic Liturgical Prayer Book both in the Russian and Ukrainian languages. The author of numerous musical- spiritual compositions and works (of more than 1600 pages of note text) which were partially published by the publishing division of the Moscow Patriarchy, by “Life-bringing Source” (Moscow) Publishers, by “Musical Ukraine” Publishers, “Choral Library of Chamber Chorus “Kiev” Publishers, Kherson State University Publishers etc. Many of these were composed into a CD anthology and numerous audio tapes collections, they often sound in the motion pictures and on the religious radio as well as in TV-series.

For the first time he practices the combined writing of liturgics over the orthodox music segments of ancient western Gregorian (“Peace Liturgy”), and also Evangelical- Lutheran chorals with wording. The author of “Glasovaya” Liturgy the basis of which there was the everyday spiritual “Osmoglasiye” singing used and of “Chernobyl' Liturgy”, the latter being dedicated to the memory of the hero-destructors of the consequences of Chernobyl' atomic technogenic catastrophe in Ukraine.

Participated in the international competition of writing text for the national anthem of Russia, took an active part in the competitions of music and text for the hymn of Kherson region, Ukraine, the hymn of Krasnodar, Russian Federation etc. Regular arbitrary of the competition jury for the international festival of church music in Poland. Since he was personally invited by the Rector for the Freiberg University in Switzerland, lectured a series of lectures on Russian musical semiographics and divine service (liturgical) singing in the Berne Conservatory and in Amsterdam (Holland), 2004-2006.

The author of the unique historical memoirs “On Generations Genesis (Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate” (“I am the only one to tell the true story…”) which caused the vindictive spite of Philaret (Denisenko), the head of dissentient group of the Ukrainian Local Church, Kiev Patriarchate. Author of recollections about the first years of life of the recovered church at the end of the eightieth of the past century – Kiev Cave (Pecherskaya) Monastery and about the circumstances of the renewal of the oil of consecration discharge from the unknown holy reverends’ heads kept in Remote Caves of the Laura.

The literary and musical compositions of archbishop Ionaphan were posted to the official Internet site of the Kherson diocesan newspaper “Orthodox Tavriya” and on the Internet sites in Russia (“The Choir” and others).

In line with the ancient spiritual practices of anathema excommunications and in accordance with the definitions by the Episcopal Cathedrals of Russian Orthodox Church, betrayed to anathema the occult study of prophetess Olga (Asaulyak) together with the theories of the banned former Metropolitan of Kiev, Philaret (Denisenko) who publicly proclaimed the heretic concept of possibility of the existence of two self-sufficient centers inside the united Mother-church - two families of local orthodox churches, qualifying it as “double-church heresy”, which action directed toward the justification of intra-church opposition to creation of global schismatic associations. Archbishop Ionaphan is the founding member of the Commission by the Holy Synod of Russian Orthodox Church on interaction with the Old Belief parishes and the old believers. Until 2007 acted as the member of the Theological Commission by the Holy Synod (Ukrainian Orthodox Church) and the commissions of the Holy Synod on the canonization of saints. Assumed participation in the work of the latter on the local canonization of Kiev Metropolitan Peter (Mohyla). Awarded the Church Orders of Rev. Sergius of Radonezh, Daniel of Moscow (Russian Orthodox Church); of Saints Antonius and Theodosius (Ukrainian Orthodox Church) and of Saint Marco (Jerusalem Patriarchy); is honored by the Name Panhagia by the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I. Awarded the Distinction by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.

He was the confessor and lecturer for the Kherson Zaporozhian Cossack troops. He holds the Honorable Certificate of the Kherson department of the Union of the Composers of Ukraine.

By the territorial community of Kherson he was honored the Commemorative Sign “For the Services to Kherson”. In 2006 he published the open letter to the President of Viktor Yushchenko (published on the official Internet site of Moscow Patriarchy) with the requirement to stop the interference of state into the internal affairs and life of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate and the curtailment of the state policy of forced rejection of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Moscow Patriarchy, with the protest against anticanonical attempts at the creation of the so-called “national Local Autocephalous Ukrainian Church”. After this he was transferred from Kherson to the provincial city of Tulchin (Vinnitsa region). Starts the activity as the Ruling Bishop for Tulchinskaya Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (November 2006.). He was also honored by His Beatitude Metropolitan Vladimir Blessed Certificate “For the Outstanding Contribution into the Glorious Image of the Holy Church” in October of the year of 2007.

Awarded the honorable title of Major General for the Zaporozhian Cossack troops.

Since 2009 - the acting member of the Local Cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church on the election of the Holiest Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia. During the event, in Donskoy Monastery in Moscow in commemoration of the 60-th anniversary from the birthday of Ionaphan, the Archbishop for Tulchin and Braclaw, he was awarded by Cyril, the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia the Salutatory Address, Certificate of №1 and the Order of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Prince Vladimir, Degree II “For the Services to the Church”.


The services of the Archbishop Ionaphan (Eletskikh), former of Kherson, now the Ruling Bishop for Tulchinskaya Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), were highly appreciated by both Patriarchs – Cyril, the newly elected Holiest Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia and Aleksey II, the rested Holiest Patriarch in the deliberate Salutatory Messages and highly estimated by honoring him high Orders of the Russian Orthodox Church. The highest reward by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) ever being given to Eparchs – the Order of the Saints Antonius and Theodosius of Kiev-Pecherskiy there was in its time presented to Archbishop Ionaphan in respect of his outstanding contribution into the Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s Image and Glory and by the Primate for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Vladimir.

Personal Information of Innocent (Shestopal’), the Bishop.

Personal Information of Innocent (Shestopal’), the Bishop

By the solution of the Holy Synod (Ukrainian Orthodox Church) on October 4, 1994 (Entry of №22), the Bishop Innocent (Shestopal’) became the first Eparch of the newly formed diocese.

He was born on January 8, 1945 in the city of Gorlovka of Donets’k region, Ukraine, in the family of a worker. After completion of secondary (7-years’) school he attended a technical vocational school from 1959 until 1961, major specialty of joiner. In 1964 - 1967 he joined and served the Soviet Army, and after demobilization, in 1968, he entered the Moscow School of Theology. On graduating from it in 1972 he entered the Moscow Ecclesiastical Academy, which he graduated from in 1976 with the degree of the Candidate of Theology for his thesis on "Alexandrine Theological School"; he was invited to go on with his post-graduate study with the Academy. From 1975 until October 1977 he combined the studies with his official activities as the External Relations Officer for the Moscow Patriarchy. On October 21, 1977 he was appointed the instructor of Odessa School of Theology and as the Secretary of the Council.

On November 21, 1977 he was imposed into a deacon rank, on December 4 - into that of a priest. On March 25, 1979 took the monastic vows and was given the name of Innocent in the honor of Innocent, Holy Hierarch of Moscow. On March 23, 1980 he was promoted to the rank of the Father Superior (Hegumen), in 1987 – got the rank of an archimandrite. In 1992 he was appointed the pro-rector of Odessa School of Theology. Since October 5, 1994 he is the Bishop for Tulchin and Braclaw.

Since March 30, 1999 – the Bishop for Konotop and Glukhov. On May 8, 2008 the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church satisfied Innocent's request about his exclusion from the staff. The place of his stay was defined that of the Holy Dormition (Svyatogorski) Laura of the Donets’k Diocese.

Personal Information of Hippolytus (Khil’ko), the Bishop.

Personal Information of Hippolytus (Khil’ko), the Bishop

Bishop Hippolytus (Khil’ko) was born on May 10, 1955 in Kramatorsk, Donets’k region, Ukraine. He graduated from the Slavic Energy Engineering & Construction Technical College and from the Kharkov Polytechnic Institute. Since 1979 studied at the Moscow School of Theology then at the Moscow Ecclesiastical Academy, the latter he graduated from with the degree of the Candidate of Theology. In the Trinity Sergius Laura he took the monastic vows and in 1988 he was sent on mission to the Russian ministry in Jerusalem. After his return, during the period from 1989 till 1991, he acted as the assistant bishop, then – as the Moscow Danilov Monastery Vicar.

On August 16, 1992 he was ordered into the Bishop for Bila Tserkva, the Vicar for Kiev Diocese, and the Vicar for Kievo-Pecherskiy (Cave) Monastery.

Since December 22, 1992 he runs the office of the Bishop for Donetsk and Slavyansk, and since 1994 – as the Bishop for Donetsk and Mariupol’.

On May 3, 1996 he was discharged from the office for the entire period of three years.

On March 30, 1999 again was appointed as the Bishop for Tulchin and Braclaw.

On November 22, 2006 as based on the Decision by the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church he was dismissed from the Bishop’s office of the Tulchin- and Braclaw Diocese to take the office of the Bishop for Khust and Vinogradovsk.

Based on the Resolution by the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church dated December 14, 2007 he was dismissed from the office of the Bishop for the Khust Diocese and then retired.

Ukrainian Church Moscow Patriarchate Tulchin Holy Nativity of Christ Cathedral g.Tulchin