Orthodox bishops from near and far remember Metropolitan Constantine

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Orthodox bishops from as far away as Ukraine this morning led a packed church in offering prayers for the soul of Metropolitan Constantine, who had led the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA from the modest home where he grew up on the South Side.

Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America represented Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, the spiritual head of worldwide Orthodoxy, in recalling Metropolitan Constantine as a man who drew others closer to God by asking wise questions. The first American-born Ukrainian Orthodox bishop was 75 when he died Monday of heart failure. He had been primate of his church since 1993

"There was no guile in him. He was so simple, so innocent, so clear, so natural," Archbishop Bartholomew said, speaking at the end of a three-hour funeral Liturgy in St. Vladimir Ukainian Orthodox Church, South Side. "But he had a sharp mind . . . He was always raising serious existential, ecclesiastical, human and social questions."

Bishop Antony, who runs the Ukrainian Orthodox headquarters in New Jersey and serves as bishop of the eastern United States, described the man who ordained him as a leader who constantly sought the leading of the Holy Spirit. If someone came to Metropolitan Constantine for casual conversation, "you parted from him on a spiritual high," he said.

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Ann Rodgers: arodgers@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1416.


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