I interrupt my Advent fast from blogging to report some sad news: the falling asleep in Christ of His Eminence, Archbishop Vsevolod of Skopelos, Eparch of the Western Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople). From his brother bishops in the UOC-USA:
It is with a profound depth of sadness that we hereby inform you of the repose, this evening of 16 December 2007 in the 80th year of his earthly pilgrimage, of His Eminence Archbishop Vsevolod, Eparch of the Western Eparchy of our Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and Titular Hierarch of Skopelos of the Holy Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. His Eminence was stricken with a serious illness just a few months ago and was released only recently from rehabilitation to participate in the celebration of his 20th anniversary of episcopal consecration and his 80th birthday. This celebration took place at his Cathedral of St. Volodymyr in Chicago, IL with the presence of his brother Ukrainian Orthodox hierarchs, his family from the United States and Ukraine and his beloved spiritual children, the clergy and faithful of the Western Eparchy, of which he served a Eparch since 1997.
Archbishop Vsevolod is well known amongst the world’s ecumenical leaders and in particular the on-going dialogue between the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. He has represented our Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in all his ecumenical activities, in particular over the past ten years in repeated attempts to bring about ecclesiastical unity in his native Ukraine.
We express our deepest sympathy to his surviving sister, Ilaria Krejer of San Diego, CA and her children and other family members in Ukraine, at this difficult time and we offer our prayers that our Heavenly Father will embrace them in His warmth and comfort as these difficult moments pass.
One of His Eminence’s essays, on Primacy and Conciliarity, has been featured here at Cathedra Unitatis (part one, part two, part three and part four). It comes from a very interesting two volume anthology of works by His Eminence on Orthodox-Catholic relations, called We Are All Brothers. I understand that there is a third volume entitled We Are All Brothers, which is a festschrift of essays by prominent Church leaders and theologians in honor of Archbishop Vsevolod on his eightieth birthday and twentieth anniversary of episcopal consecration. Both volumes are highly recommended, and are available from Eastern Christian Publications.
Give rest eternal, O Lord, in blessed repose, to the soul of Thy departed servant, and make his memory eternal!