SSJC-Pgh – April 2019 Meeting

Orthodox Reunification in Ukraine

On Monday April 29 2019 the fifth meeting for the Pittsburgh chapter of the Society of St. John Chrysostom was held at St. Anthony Chapel on Pittsburgh’s northside.

St. Anthony’s chapel on Pittsburgh’s north side is home to thousands of relics of the saints and has been designated a Historical Landmark by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation. 

Opening prayer:  Here abbreviated vespers in the Roman Catholic chant tradition led Fr. James Orr (Chapel Director) and Deacon Greg Jelinek. 

Presentation & discussion:  Our presenter, Rev. Fr. Mark Swindle, presented the details of the historical January 7, 2019, event of His All Holiness, Bartholomew, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, signing a Tomos of autocephaly for the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, formally recognizing the Church’s independence. Patriarch Bartholomew’s formal conferral of autocephaly is the culmination of a process that began amid the collapse of the Soviet Union and gained momentum after Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and Russian backing of separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

The presentation covered a thumbnail history of the three major Orthodox jurisdictions operating in Ukraine and previous attempts at unification. Along with details of the two year process leading to the signing of the Tomos in January.

There were many questions and a lively discussion on the relationship between the Moscow and Constantinople Patriarchates at play in these events.

View on YouTube


Timeline of Orthodoxy in Ukraine
Slide Presentation Tomos 2019
Wiki on Moscow – Constantinope on Ukraine

Presenter: Rev. Fr. Mark Swindle

Master of Divinity, 2010 St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Seminary, South Bound Brook, NJ
Pastor, Holy Virgin Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Arnold, PA
Board Certified Chaplain, Torrance State Hospital, Blairsville, PA