Philaret (Vakhromeyev)

Metropolitan Philaret (Russian: Митрополит Филарет, Belarusian: Мітрапаліт Філарэт, born Kirill Varfolomeyevich Vakhromeev, Russian: Кирилл Варфоломеевич Вахромеев; 21 March 1935 in Moscow – 12 January 2021 in Minsk)[1] was the emeritus Metropolitan of Minsk and Slutsk, the Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus and the leader of the Belarusian Orthodox Church that is an autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church. He resigned on 25 December 2013, and was succeeded by Metropolitan Pavel .[2]

Filaret, Metropolitan of Minsk and Slutsk


Born in 1935 in Moscow, RSFSR, Kirill attended the Moscow Theological Academy in 1954 after spending a year in the seminary. During the course of his studies, he chose the name Filaret when he received the monastic tonsure in 1959. Two years later, he graduated from the academy with a doctorate in theology. After serving in Minsk, Kaliningrad and Moscow, Filaret was appointed Metropolitan of Minsk and the entire Belarusian SSR in 1978.

In 1989, as the collapse of the Soviet Union was imminent, Filaret was appointed to become the patriarchal exarch of the new country of Belarus. He also served a short term in the Supreme Council of Belarusian SSR as a people's deputy.

In 2006, for his work in the Russian Orthodox Church he was awarded the title Hero of Belarus by President Alexander Lukashenko.[3]

The KGB recruited Filaret as an agent some time before 1969, assigning him the code name Ostrovsky.[4]

He died on 12 January 2021, after being hospitalized with COVID-19 during the COVID-19 pandemic in Belarus. Cardinal Kurt Koch of the Catholic Church sent a letter of condolences to Patriarchal Exarch Metropolitan Veniamin. Koch said that Philaret had made a significant imprint on the church of Belarus, such as "the rebirth of ecclesial life, ... the renewal and construction of new churches and monasteries, and ... the development of religious instruction and educational programs". Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Minsk, Tadevuš Kandrusievič, has pledged to celebrate a Mass in honor of Philaret.[5]

On May 3, 2022, a monument to Metropolitan Filaret has been unveiled near the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Minsk. Attending the ceremony was Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.[6]


  1. ^ "Cardinal Koch laments death of Orthodox former Patriarch of Belarus - Vatican News". 2021-01-14. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  2. ^ "Alexander Lukashenko sends greetings to new Metropolitan of Minsk and Slutsk, Patriarch Exarch of All Belarus Pavel". 28 December 2013.
  3. ^ "Награждения - Государственные награды Республики Беларусь". Archived from the original on 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
  4. ^ The Ostrovsky Files: Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk and the KGB. Retrieved 14 January 2021. (registration required)
  5. ^ "Cardinal Koch laments death of Orthodox former Patriarch of Belarus - Vatican News". 2021-01-14. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  6. ^ Lukashenko unveils monument to Metropolitan Filaret

  Media related to Philaret (Vakhromeyev) at Wikimedia Commons