St. Andrew’s Church was handed over to Constantinople for usage, the decision was supported by 237 people’s deputies. The law establishes that the church as a religious building is owned by the state, but is transmitted free of charge for permanent use of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for divine service, religious rites, and ceremonies. The purpose of the transfer is to provide religious needs of believers in the restoration and preservation of ties with the Constantinople Church. More details – in reactions from Opinion.
The President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, explained that the transfer of st. Andrew’s Church to Constantinople is another step towards the main goal of obtaining Tomos on autocephaly of the Ukrainian church. By the way, the author of the bill is Poroshenko himself.
Regarding the reaction of church itself, the official statement emphasized: the church remains in the ownership of the state, the restoration works will be continued until their completion, the entire staff of the National Reserve’s guards will continue to continue its work, and an agreement with the representatives of the Church of the Ecumenical Patriarchate will be concluded as for the use of the monument in accordance with the current Ukrainian legislation.
Andriy Parubiy, the Speaker of Verkhovna Rada explained that those who emphasize that Ukraine allegedly gives state property to Ecumenical Patriarchate, in fact, slander and spread Russian “puff-pieces”. After all, St. Andrew’s Church remains in the ownership of the state, instead, we restore historical justice and return Stavropegy of the Mother Church to Kyiv.
Olexiy Minakov, a political expert, also commented on this topic. He also stressed that nobody gifted anything because the church remains in the ownership of the Ukrainian state, not Russian or Turkish one. In addition, there are no offended ones, since the decision was agreed with ecclesiastical hierarchies, including the head of the UAOC. The entrance to the church will continue being free for all, and the decision supported by the MPs will help accelerate the receipt of Tomos on autocephaly. And this, according to the expert, is the most important positive effect on our country. Minakov calls it a form of Ukraine’s gratitude to Ecumenical Patriarch for the independence of the Ukrainian church from Moscow. But it looks all quite beneficial: we pass on the usage of only one church, and in return receive a historical document about autocephaly. No betrayal and no negative effects, only strategic benefits and advantages.
Meanwhile, Oleh Lyashko, an MP and leader of the Radical Party, is convinced that the current president of Ukraine cynically makes PR on the church issue. Since the government’s decision, rather than the whole parliament, was enough to transfer the use of St. Andrew’s Church to the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
People’s deputy Igor Lutsenko emphasized: it’s a shame when we mention our remarkable shrines only when they want to be used as a bargaining chip for political combinations. After all, St. Andrew’s Church has been a candidate for UNESCO’s World Heritage sites for the second decade. The author of the post stresses: he does not know about any step that was taken by those who are now transmitting this church to advance this process. All depends on the work of Ukraine and its diplomacy, and such work is absent.
Moreover, in the words of the MP, no one protects Lavra, which was given to the Moscow Patriarchate by the state. As a result, among other things, the historical floor was destroyed in the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the unique painting of the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin was destroyed, a brand new street with hotels and restaurants was created on the right of the Economic Gates, etc. Such a religious policy we have.
Political scientist Viktor Taran also tried to criticize those “experts” who are outraged by the fact that the church was allegedly being handed over to a certain “dude” from Constantinople. Well, firstly, it’s not a “dude”, but the Ecumenical Patriarch, from the point of view of the Christian Orthodox hierarchy nothing can be more canonical then this. And secondly, the same “experts” are not offended for some reason that the Moscow Church was given control of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, the Pochayiv Lavra and a number of other shrines. Therefore the money has been systematically leaking to Moscow for many years. Well, what’s up dear “experts”, something went wrong?
Ukrainian writer Yevhenia Chupryna also thinks about that and emphasizes that Lavra in the hands of foreign bandits who dance on the bones of our saints, the construction of kiosk on the foundation of the Desyatynna church and a number of similar things worry her more than the transfer of St. Andrew’s Church to Constantinople.
And now a small question, which is not even very relevant to the church itself. How did it happen that it wasn’t possible to vote against Vilkul’s immunity? You know you can when you want. Here’s the blogger Boris Nemirovski, who says the same thing.
Well, here are some jokes from a blogger and political scientist Leonid Shvets. The main thing, prepare something spicy for dinner.
Reactions and armchair experts were collected by Stepan the Goat