Virtual Town Hall Meeting

Ukraine Autocephaly


First time ever, nationwide call-in


For more than a century, the question of autocephaly (self-governance) has divided the sacred unity of Orthodox Christianity in the Ukraine.

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has taken the pastoral initiative to heal these divisions and grant independence to the Church in Ukraine. The situation is complex and, for English-speakers, made even more so by an onslaught of misinformation circulated through social media. Please join us for an in-depth discussion with experts who can explain the most important issue confronting the Orthodox Church today.


Virtual Town Hall Meeting

Saturday, January 26, 2019
@ 1:00-3:00PM EST

Toll-Free International

International Number



His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of France

Representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

His Eminence, Metropolitan Emmanuel (Adamakis) of France was the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate with the mission of convening and presiding at the Unification Sobor in Kiev. On behalf of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, he was directly involved in all aspects of the process which led to the granting of the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

His Eminence received his secondary education in France, attending the Sorbonne in Paris, before continuing his studies at the Catholic University of Paris and at the Saint Serge Orthodox Theological Institute. He later enrolled in Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston, Massachusetts and received his Masters in 1987. He was ordained a deacon and priest in 1985. He served concurrently as Chancellor of the Orthodox Metropolis of Belgium, and as Dean of the Church of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel in Brussels. He was appointed Representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of the European Churches (CEC), and in 1994, Director of the Liaison Office of the Orthodox Church to the European Union. He held this position until 2014. In 1996, he was elected Auxiliary Bishop to the Metropolis of Benelux, under the title of Bishop of Reghion. In 2003, the Ecumenical Patriarchate elected him Metropolitan of the Holy Metropolis of France. Over the past 15 years, as president of the Orthodox Episcopal Assembly in France, Metropolitan Emmanuel has tirelessly encouraged inter-orthodox cooperation. Between 2009 and 2018, he has been vice-president, and then president of the Conference of European Churches. He is currently Co-President of the Council of Christian Churches of France. He is Co-President of Religion for Peace International (New York, USA) and Board member of the KAICIID Dialogue Center (Vienna, Austria). Metropolitan Emmanuel has been named “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur” in France, among other Church and State distinctions.

His Eminence Archbishop Daniel

Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA

A native of Ukraine, Archbishop Daniel (secular name: Volodymyr Zelinsky) was born in the small town of Buchach, Ternopil Region (similar to a state), Ukraine. He grew up in this region where he graduated from a local high school and enrolled in his first course of theological studies in the Seminary of Ivano-Frankivsk in September, 1993. Following his education in Ukraine, Volodymyr emigrated to the USA in 1996 to continue his education at the Catholic University of America as well as the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC. During this time, he was ordained to the Holy Deaconate.

In 2000 Deacon Volodymyr was received into the UOC of the USA and enrolled in St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Bound Brook, NJ. With many years of theological study already completed, his advanced standing enabled Fr. Daniel to complete the Orthodox theology program in two years. He concurrently enrolled in a graduate studies program in Applied Orthodox Theology at the University of Balamand, Holy Patriarchate of Antioch (Antiochian House of Studies, USA), receiving his Master's Degree in 2002.

Deacon Volodymyr was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Archbishop Antony on May 12, 2001 in St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Memorial Church, South Bound Brook, NJ. On May 22, 2002 the Archbishop tonsured him as a priest-monk (Hieromonk), with the name Daniel, at St. Elijah Ukrainian Orthodox Monastery in Dover, FL. Following his monastic tonsure, Fr. Daniel was appointed assistant editor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Word (UOW), the official publication of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. In September 2002, he became Editor-in-Chief of the UOW and remains in that position today. Also in 2002, His Eminence Archbishop Antony appointed Fr. Daniel director of the Consistory Office of Public Relations (Communications) of the Consistory, which publishes the annual Church Calendar and manages the UOC of the USA web site.

In 2003 Fr. Daniel enrolled in the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (Eastern Orthodox Focus), completing all the requirements for the Doctor of Ministry Degree, which was conferred upon him during the seminary commencement ceremonies in May of 2007. In 2005, Fr. Daniel was appointed Spiritual Advisor to the United Ukrainian Orthodox Sisterhoods and Spiritual Advisor to the Church Orphanage Adoption Program in Ukraine. Archimandrite Daniel has led the college mission teams to the Orphanages for the past four years.

In addition, in January of 2006 Fr. Daniel was commissioned as an officer of the US Army (Chaplain Corps). He enrolled into US Army Chaplain School at Fort Jackson, SC from which he graduated in April of that year and served as a chaplain in one of the Medical Brigades of the United States Army. With the reactivation of a full academic program at St. Sophia Seminary, Metropolitan Constantine and the Seminary Board of Trustees appointed Fr. Daniel Dean of Students in 2006.

At the 2007 Convention of the Ukrainian Orthodox League of the USA, Metropolitan Constantine appointed Hieromonk Daniel Spiritual Advisor of the Senior League. In that capacity and at the request of the UOL Senior Board, he also accepted the position of Chairman of the Vocations and Clergy Support Commission, which administers the Metropolitan John (Theodorovich) Scholarship Fund. This fund provides financial assistance for seminarians and clergy to pursue continuing education.

During the opening Divine Liturgy of the 18th Regular Sobor of the UOC of the USA on October 3, 2007, Hieromonk Daniel was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite by Metropolitan Constantine. A few days later, on October 6, 2007, the same Sobor elected Archimandrite Daniel as Bishop-Elect for the UOC of the USA.

On January 9, 2008, His All-Holiness and the Great and Holy Synod of Constantinople formally elected and ritually included Archimandrite Daniel in the Diptychs of Holy Orthodoxy as titular Bishop of Pamphilon. The Episcopal consecration of His Grace Bishop Daniel took place at St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox cathedral in Parma, OH – USA on May 10, 2008. Bishop Daniel has become known throughout the UOC of the USA and beyond as one to whom others can turn for advice, compassion and honest reflection. He is frequently invited to present lectures and reflections to various parishes and organizations – both Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian as well as Orthodox and non-Orthodox.

Following the repose of Metropolitan Constantine of blessed memory (21 May, 2012), the Bishop assumed the responsibilities of the Vice-Chair of the Council of Bishops of the UOC of the USA.

During the Extraordinary Sobor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (October 6, 2012), His Grace Bishop Daniel was nominated and elected as President of the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.

On Saturday, January 26, 2013 – following the Enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, His Grace Bishop Daniel formally assumed responsibilities of President of the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA at the spiritual headquarters of the UOC of the USA in South Bound Brook, NJ.

During the XXI Regular Sobor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (October 2016), Bishop Daniel was nominated by the delegates of the Sobor to the rank of Archbishop and upon the decision of the Holy Synod of Ecumenical Patriarchate was formally included in the Diptychs of Holy Orthodoxy as titular Archbishop of Pamphilon. 

Within the framework of the preparations for the granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, On September 7th, 2018 the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, under the leadership of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, appointed His Eminence Archbishop Daniel (along with Bishop Ilarion of UOCC) as Exarch of the Ecumenical Throne to Ukraine. In a month following the appointment (9-11 October, 2018) and upon the conclusion of the preliminary work of the Exarchs, the Ecumenical Patriarchate made the historical announcement about the granting of autocephaly to the Holy Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

On November 3, 2018 Archbishop Daniel participated in the formal conclusion of the process and signing of the Agreement "On Cooperation and Interaction between Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople" by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.

On December 15, 2018 His Eminence Archbishop Daniel, along with Metropolitan Emmanuel of France (presiding hierarchs) and Bishop Ilation of UOC of Canada, participated in the Unification Council of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

On January 5-6, 2019 Archbishop Daniel participated in the official ceremony (at Holy Great-Martyr George Patriarchal Cathedral in Constantinople, Turkey) of signing and granting Tomos of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

Rev. Nicholas E. Denysenko, PhD

Valparaiso University
Emil and Elfriede Jochum Professor and Chair

Nicholas Denysenko serves as Emil and Elfriede Jochum Professor and Chair and concurrently as associate professor of theology at Valparaiso University. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota (1994), and his graduate degrees at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (M.Div., 2000) and The Catholic University of America (Ph.D., 2008). Prior to coming to Valpo, he taught for seven years at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he also served as director of the Huffington Ecumenical Institute. Denysenko writes and speaks on diverse topics, and specializes in liturgical theology and Orthodox Christianity. His work has appeared in venues such as the Journal for the American Academy of Religion, Theological Studies, Studia Liturgica, Worship, and St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly. His most recent books are “The People’s Faith: The Liturgy of the Faithful in Orthodoxy” (Rowman and Littlefield), and “The Orthodox Church in Ukraine: A Century of Separation” (Northern Illinois University Press). Denysenko is an ordained deacon of the Orthodox Church in America since 2003.

Vera Shevzov, Phd

Smith College
Professor of Religion, Russian, East European and Eurasia Studies

Vera Shevzov is Professor of Religion and member of the Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies Program at Smith College in Northampton, MA. A graduate of Yale University (BA, Ph.D.) and St. Vladimir’s Seminary (M.Div.), her research focuses on Orthodox Christianity in modern and contemporary Russia. Her book, Russian Orthodoxy on the Eve of Revolution, was awarded the Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize of the American Society of Church History, and translated into Russian. She has also co-edited volume of essays entitled Framing Mary: The Mother of God in Modern, Revolutionary, and Post-Soviet Russian Culture. Supported at various stages by the Mellon Foundation, the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Academy of Religion, her research and publications have spanned a wide variety of topics in modern and contemporary Orthodoxy in Russia, including history and memory; miracles and modernity; theology and the university; women and gender; modern Orthodox perception of religion in America; Orthodox constructions of the West; Soviet visual anti-religious propaganda; and various aspects of iconic and liturgical culture. Her current research project is tentatively entitled “‘How Do We Sing of Thee?’: Liturgy, Memory, and Ultimate Values in Post-Gulag Russia.”


Archon George E. Demacopoulos, Phd

Fordham University
Co-Director, Orthodox Christian Studies Center

George E. Demacopoulos is Fr. John Meyendorff & Patterson Family Chair of Orthodox Christian Studies. He is also the Co-Director of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center.

A native of Tennessee, Dr. Demacopoulos came to Fordham in 2002 after earning his PhD in Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A specialist in the history of Christianity, Dr. Demacopoulos has served on the executive board for the Center for Medieval Studies and was, for many years, a regular teacher in the Rose Hill Honors Program.

Since founding the Orthodox Christian Studies Center with Aristotle Papanikolaou in 2012, he has dedicated his administrative time to building the Center’s endowment and starting a host of globally-recognized initiatives such as the National Endowment for the Humanities Matching Challenge Grant, which funds two annual research fellowships in Orthodox Studies at Fordham. In 2018, he and Vera Shevzov launched the Journal of Orthodox Christian Studies, which they co-edit.

Ukraine 01/18/19

His Eminence Archbishop Daniel Joins Panel of Experts at Virtual Town Meeting on Ukraine Autocephaly

Ukraine 01/11/19

Coming January 26: Virtual Town Meeting on the Most Crucial Issue Confronting Orthodox Christians Today

Ukraine 01/09/19

SAVE THE DATE: Virtual Town Meeting on January 26 on the Most Important Issue Confronting the Orthodox Church Today

Ukraine 01/08/19

Address of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Metropolitan Epiphanios of Kiev and all Ukraine

Ukraine 01/05/19

Historic Day: His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Signs Tome of Autocephaly for Ukrainian Orthodox Church

Ukraine 12/21/18

Putin Falsely Claims that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Wants to Subdue Ukrainian Church, Profit From It

Ukraine 12/15/18

Ecumenical Patriarchate announces election of Metropolitan Epiphanios as Primate of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Ukraine

Ukraine 12/04/18

Five Powerful New Videos to Help You Understand and Explain Key Issues Relating to the Ecumenical Patriarchate Today

Ukraine 11/27/18

The Wheel reports on 'Ukraine, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and Post-truth'

Ukraine 11/26/18

The Wheel reports on 'An Orthodox Graveyard and the Tomos of Autocephaly for Ukraine'

Ukraine 11/14/18

A Valuable New Resource to Help You Understand and Explain the Ukrainian Controversy

Global News 10/21/18

AP News reports on 'Birth of a new Ukrainian church brings fears of violence'

Ukraine 09/25/18

Ecumenical Patriarch declares Ukraine autocephaly 'will occur because it is right'

Ukraine 09/11/18

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Clarifies the Situation of the Ukrainian Church

Ukraine 07/30/18

The Ecumenical Patriarch "will not leave his Ukrainian sons unprotected and abandoned"