Українською | In English
Viche 2008 №1

№1, 2008

Bishop of Chernigiv and Nizhyn AMVROSIY: “The state has to listen to the voice of Church”

Relationship between the state and the Church is a problem, from the theoretical comprehension of which it is possible to get dislocation of brain and from the direct experiencing - dislocation of myocardium. Maybe because of that these two kingdoms live their own lives. When they take place, the dissidences happen. This way or another, but the Church considers the existence of the state. But one can not say the same about the state. However, it seems that state authorities sometimes have to take an interest in what people think of them, for whom policy is not a method to be placed comfortably in the world, but shame and fuss. Policy and politicians are quite humdrum matters, but our talk with Amvrosiy, the bishop of Chernigiv and Nizhyn, is not of that sort.

Bishop of Chernigiv and Nizhyn AMVROSIY

In the world he is Andriy POLIKOPA. He was born on September, 20, 1943 in Zalyvanshchyna village of Kalynivke region, Vinnytsya district. After finishing the secondary school from 1961 he worked for the enterprises of Odessa city; the he served in the Soviet army.
In 1967 he entered the Odessa spiritual seminary. During the period from 1970 to 1974 he studied in the Moscow spiritual academy. He is a candidate of divinity (research theme: “Saint John Zlatoust and peculiarities of his sermons on the Gospel from Matthew”). On October, 8, 1972 by Saint Patriarch Pimen he was ordained into a deacon and on April, 15 1973 – into a priest and was directed to the Kharkiv eparchy. He served in the Kharkiv Blagoveshchensk cathedral.
In 1990 he was elected as a deputy to the Kharkiv city board.
In 1987 he experienced a personal tragedy: his wife and son perished in car accident. On May, 19, 1998, after becoming a monk and being ordained to the cloth of archimandrite, he became a bishop of Novgorod-Siverskyi and a vicar of the Chernigiv eparchy. He became a monk with the name in honour of Amvrosiy Optynskyi. From October, 16, 2003 he is a bishop of Chernigiv and Nizhyn.

– Presently vagueness rules in our country. There is no clearness and expressive direction in the steps of the state. It influences the life of Church. We wait for intelligibility. What state organ is authorized to solve the problems connected, in particular, with the right of ownership on spiritual buildings? There were decrees of the presidents of Leonid Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma: property which once belonged to Church is to be returned to that or another confession. When the Soviet Union sank into oblivion, according to the decision of Moscow Patriarch the whole property of Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine was handed to Ukrainian Orthodox Church. But the situation was complicated by the church dissidence.

There is a substantial barrier in that the proper legal status has not been given to Church until now. However, we do not want to solve problems by means of illegal ways. We rely on peaceful and legal measures.

Without regard to problems, the religious life lasts. In Chernigiv, in no way the richest city, five new temples have been built. Sunday-schools have been opened. There are five monasteries in the eparchy. Regent school operates.


– Old Russia and Ukraine are obliged to the Orthodoxy for their development. Only with introduction of Christianity the changes in state life, architecture and education took place. This basis of development of Russia was found by the prince Volodymyr. But everybody can find this background for the personal development – that is faith. Everybody, who appeals to Orthodox Church, can get personal experience which will become support in life.

During millenniums people have listened to Church. However, during the period of seventy five years of persecutions people have lost this connection. What a beauty was destroyed!

According to the law all confessions are equal. Those, that appeared ten years ago, and those, that are over two thousand years, are equal. Does anybody know what new sects, who have expressive destructive character, will give to people? The sects, which are forbidden in other states, because they have shown the shame of their studies, operate in Ukraine. However, our people accept them. And that is a pity.