Smotryts'kyĭ, Meletiĭ

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Author and noted advocate of Church union; b. Smotryc, Ukraine, c. 1578; d. Dermansky Monastery, Volhynia, Ukraine, 1633. He was educated at the Orthodox Academy in Ostrog and at the Jesuit college in Vilna. In the ecclesiastical conflicts provoked by the Union of brest he was in the beginning an Orthodox partisan and wrote several polemical tracts, the best known of which is Threnody (Vilna 1610), in which he laments the state of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church after mass conversion to Catholicism. His grammar of Church Slavonic (1619) was important for Slavic philology. He was consecrated Orthodox bishop of Polotsk, and in 1623 was a representative in the Polish parliament during discussions for the reconciliation of the churches. He took refuge among the Cossacks when persecuted by Polish authorities. After a stay in Constantinople he returned to the Ukraine and, when his efforts for compromise and reconciliation of the churches failed, he joined the Eastern Catholics in 1627. In 1628 at the Orthodox Council in Kiev he was denounced and forced to leave.

Bibliography: d. doroshenko, History of the Ukraine, tr. h. chikalenko-keller, ed. g. w. simpson (Edmonton, Can.1939). m. hrushevsky, A History of Ukraine, ed. o. j. frederiksen (New Haven 1941). j. mirtschuk, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. m. buchberger, 10 v. (Freiburg 193038) 9:640.

[g. j. prpic]