MetropolitanEpiphanius (Serhiy Petrovych Dumenko)
- Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine since December 15, 2018.
Epiphanius was born on February 3, 1979 in the village of Volkovo, Ivanovo district, Odessa region. His childhood and youth were spent in the village of Staraya Zhadova, Chernivtsi region.
In 1999 he graduated from the Kiev Theological Seminary of the UOC with a first class.
In 2003 he graduated from the Kyiv Theological Academy, having written a dissertation "Formation of church-canonical collections in the Pre-Nicene period and their characterization".
From 2003 to 2005 , he taught at the local Rivne Theological Seminary of the UOC-KP, also served as a secretary-referent of the Rivne Diocesan Administration and personal secretary of Metropolitan Daniel (Chokalyuk) of Rivne and Ostrog. At the same time, he served as editor of the Rivne Pravoslavnoe internet portal and as a member of the editorial board of the church-religious newspaper Dukhovnaya Niva.
When Epiphanius was 26 years old, he became press secretary of the Rivne diocese, where he was immediately accepted into the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine.
Later he lived in Greece for one year, where he interned at the National University of Athens at the Faculty of Philosophy.
OnDecember 21, 2007 in St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery he was tonsured into monasticism with the name Epiphanius in honor of St. Epiphanius of Cyprus.
OnJanuary 6, 2008 he was ordained by Patriarch Filaret to the rank of hierodeacon, and on January 20 of the same year - to the rank of hieromonk. Later that month he was appointed secretary to Patriarch Filaret of Kyiv and All Russia-Ukraine.
In January 2012, he was elevated to the rank of archbishop and became a permanent member of the Synod of the UOC-KP.
OnJune 28, 2013 he was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan of Pereyaslav-Khmelnytskyi and Bilotserkivskyi and appointed Patriarchal Vicar with the rights of a diocesan bishop. According to the statute, the vicar in case of the death of the patriarch will become the locum tenens of the patriarchal throne.
By decision of the Holy Synod of the UOC-KP on December 13, 2017 Epiphanius received the title Metropolitan of Pereyaslavl and Belotserkovsky.
Epiphanius is the author of more than 50 scientific publications, including several monographs in the field of Orthodox theology. He has also been awarded the Order of Merit of the II and III degree, the Diploma of the Cabinet of Ministers, awards of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, the Command of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and others.
Another advantage of Epiphanius is called knowledge of the Greek language. The Metropolitan himself calls translation his hobby.
Epiphanius is considered a longtime supporter of autocephaly.
"Sooner or later, but the people of Ukraine will have their own local Orthodox Church, as has the state, president, government, army, anthem, coat of arms, flag .... It is inevitable," the then newly elected vicar of Patriarch Filaret said back in 2013 .
OnDecember 15, 2018, a unified church was established in Ukraine. Bishop Epiphanius of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate became the head of the local Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
From the stage at St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev, Epiphanius delivered his first farewell address to the Ukrainians, where he thanked all Ukrainians for believing in the success of the initiated work and praying to God about it.
On the same day, a chaplain in the AFU, Konstantin Kholodov, said that Epiphanius was one of the first to help the Ukrainian army since the Russian attack.