DOI: https://doi.org/10.21847/1728-9343.2019.6(164).181540

The place and part of Polikarp (Sykorskyi) in the spread and strengthening of the movement for the Ukrainization of the Orthodox Church in Poland in the 1920th

Ihor Skyba

Abstract


The dynamics of changes in the spiritual-ecclesiastical and religious dimensions of Ukraine over the last quarter of a century testifies to a clear tendency towards self-determination and institutionalisation of the Orthodox community. The first half of the twentieth century became one of the stages of the movement for the creation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. A special place in the mentioned events had the figure of Metropolitan Polikarp (Sikorskyi). In 1922, a former associate of the Kyiv Spiritual Consistory and the Ministry of Religions of the Government of the Ukrainian People's Republic, Petro Sikorskyi, found himself in Western Volyn, a part of the Second Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. After his tonsure, Polikarp (Sykorskyi) headed the Derman monastery, and soon afterwards - the Miletsky monastery. At Miletsky Monastery, the hieromonk Polikarp used every opportunity he could to Ukrainize the life of the monastic community. At the beginning of 1923 Polikarp (Sikorskyi) was a Dean of the monasteries of the Volyn Diocese.It was important for Polikarp (Sikorskyi) to participate in the work of the Volyn Diocesan Congress of 1923, where he presided. The decisions of congress provided a formal basis for the Ukrainianization of church services. Delegates voted for the return of the Ukrainian language to divine service and the preparation of liturgical texts in Ukrainian.In the first half of 1923 Archimandrite Polikarp (Sikorskyi) was already a rector of the Zagayat Monastery. Here he focused, among other things, on the de-Russification of the divine services and the whole rhythm of the brethren's spiritual life. Polish police closely followed the archimandrite and claimed that Sikorskiy had turned the monastery into a hotbed of Ukrainian agitation. Not only the Polish police concerned itself with Archimandrite Polikarp (Sikorskiy's) views on the matters of religion and statehood. The representatives of the Russian ecclesiastical and political circles did, too. In October of 1923 by the respective decree, the head of the Church transferred P. Sikorskiy to Vilnius.The intensification of Ukraine's movement for the national and religious independence led to the appointment of Archimandrite Polikarp (Sikorskyi) to the posts of a rector of the cathedral and a dean of a municipality in Volodymyr in the spring of 1926. At that time, a conflict between the pro-Moscow priests and the Ukrainian community led by Arseni Richinsky intensified in the city. Polikarp (Sikorskyi) managed to satisfy the demands of the Ukrainians, but in early 1927 he was transferred to the Zhyrovichi Monastery. Nevertheless, Archimandrite Polikarp (Sikorskyi) remained one of the leaders and a symbolic figure in Ukraine's movement for the national and religious independence in Volyn. This was also confirmed by the Lutsk Church Congress of 1927 and other events in the life of the Orthodox Church of Poland. The other vector of Archimandrite Polikarp's contacts pointed to the UPR circles. Polikarp (Sikorskyi) maintained a dialogue with the UPR leader in exile, Andriy Livitsky. All these circumstances led to the ordainment of Polikarp (Sikorskyi) to the Bishop of Lutsk in 1932. The paper that follows publishes for the first time the unknown facts and certain aspects of Metropolitan's life, of which our knowledge is limited. The article also analyzes the Metropolitan's contribution to the Ukrainizationo of the Church of Volhynia in the interwar period. The purpose of the study is to investigate the extent of Polikarp (Sikorskiy's) Ukrainianizational activities in Volhynia and his impact on social and religious processes. From this goal, the following tasks arise: to evaluate the contribution of Polikarp (Sikorskiy) to the Ukrainianization of Church and religious life of Orthodox community of Poland in the interwar period; to show the extent of the influence of the bishop's figure on the achievements of the movement for the national and religious independence of Volyn in the interwar period.

Keywords


Orthodox Church of Ukraine; Polikarp (Sikorskiy); Diocese of Volyn-Kremenets; Ukrainian Orthodoxy; Ukrainization

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