Between Faith and Country: The Predicament of Metropolitan Iosyf Neliubovych-Tukal's'kyi

By Shiyan, Roman I. | Canadian Slavonic Papers, September-December 2010 | Go to article overview

Between Faith and Country: The Predicament of Metropolitan Iosyf Neliubovych-Tukal's'kyi


Shiyan, Roman I., Canadian Slavonic Papers


ABSTRACT:

This is an investigation of the life of a top hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Iosyf Neliubovych-Tukal's'kyi, pastor and a chief advisor to Hetman Petro Doroshenko (1665-1676). This article explains the circumstances and consequences of the Metropolitan's advocacy for accepting the patronage of the Muslim Ottoman sultan over Cossack Ukraine. The Metropolitan's decision is shown to be less paradoxical than it may appear, emerging out of Tukal's'kyi's understanding of what was best for Cossack Ukraine, its people, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

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INTRODUCTION

The role of the Ukrainian Orthodox clergy in political events in Ukraine during the second half of the 17* century was first studied during the 1800s and early 1900s by scholars such as Sergei Terno vskii, Vitalii Eingorn, Konstantin Kharlampovich and Mykola Kostomarov. l Their focus was mostly on the role of the Ukrainian clergy in establishing the Muscovite monarch's protectorate over Cossack Ukraine as well as the Moscow Patriarch's control over the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The scholarly consensus was that despite a certain reluctance to accept the patronage of the Moscow Patriarch over the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, a majority of the leading Ukrainian Orthodox hierarchs favoured the Tsar's patronage over Cossack Ukraine. At the same time very little attention was paid to other political agendas. In particular, no research has been done on the political program of the Metropolitan of Kyiv, Iosyf NeliubovychTukal's'kyi - a top hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (1664-1675) - who chose the Muslim Ottoman Empire's protection over Cossack Ukraine instead of the Christian powers, i.e., the Roman Catholic Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Orthodox Muscovite state. This study is meant to reconstruct Metropolitan Tukal's'kyi's biography and investigate both the genesis and essence of his political views and agenda.

This paper has been inspired in part by Frank E. Sysyn's book on Adam Ky sil'. While studying the Ruthenian (i.e., early-modern Ukrainian and Belarusan) nobility, Sysyn undertook an in-depth analysis of the worldview of A. Ky sii', a senator in the Diet of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the palatine of Kyiv, a patriot of his ojczyzna (fatherland), and a representative of the Ruthenian nobility of the Greek Orthodox faith. Sysyn explored Ky sil" s "dilemma" of choosing among conflicting loyalties: namely, his PolishLithuanian "fatherland," his Ruthenian kin and the Orthodox faith. Another source of inspiration was an article on the political and cultural vision of Archbishop Lazar Barano vy eh by David A. Frick. Last, but not least, I found intellectual stimulus in the recent studies by Zenon E. Kohut on the origins of the idea of a "Ukrainian Fatherland" during the second half of the 17 century, in which the author investigates the emergence of new political concepts as well as responses to them by members of various social strata of Ukrainian society during that time.4

I. THE BIOGRAPHY OF IOSYF NELIUBOVYCH-TUKAL'S'KYI

Biographical data on Iosyf Neliubovych-Tukal's'kyi is scarce and dispersed over the occasional biographical articles compiled predominantly in the 19* century. Tukal's'kyi is also mentioned in several studies on Hetmán Petro Doroshenko, who was the metropolitan's confidant and political ally. The exact date and birthplace of Iosyf Tukal's'kyi are unknown. All we know is that he was born in the Pinsk region of present-day Belarus to a local noble family.7 From 1654 to 1657, he was the archimandrite of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Vilnius (Lithuania), and since 1657 - the archimandrite of the Leshchyns'kyi Monastery (Belarus). Tukal's'kyi's tenure in Belarus proved to be hazardous. On 9 January 1657,9 Hetmán Bohdan Khmel'nyts'kyi in his letter to Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich informed the latter that the Poles "burned monasteries in Pinsk county and would have killed the Orthodox archimandrite of Leshchyns'kyi [monastery] Father Iosyf had he not escaped, however [they] killed all his monks [there] [. …

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