Culture Ministry challenges transfer of Pochayiv Lavra to UOC-MP
The Ukrainian Culture Ministry has challenged at the Justice Ministry the actions of a state registrar with the demand to cancel the decision on the state registration of the right of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) to use the property of the Holy Dormition Pochayiv Lavra monastery and to bring the registrar to account, the press service of the Ternopil regional prosecutor's office reported on Friday, Ukrinform reports.
"According to the materials of the pre-trial investigation, it was established that a representative of the Ukrainian Culture Ministry, whose rights and interests were violated, had challenged at the Ukrainian Justice Ministry the mentioned actions of the state registrar with the demand to cancel the decision on the state registration of the right to use immovable property of the Pochayiv Lavra and to bring the registrar to account," reads the report.
The prosecutor's office also recalled that the investigation department of the National Police's main directorate in Ternopil region was conducting a pre-trial investigation in a criminal proceeding regarding the unlawful actions of the state registrar who, abusing his powers, conducted the state registration of the right of the UOC-MP to use immovable property of the Pochayiv Lavra.
"The pre-trial investigation is ongoing. Procedural controlled is being carried out by the regional prosecutor's office, which controls the investigation process in this criminal proceeding," the prosecutor's office said.
The regional prosecutor's office told Ukrinform on Thursday, November 15, that the police in Ternopil region had opened a criminal case due to the transfer of the facilities of the Holy Dormition Pochayiv Lavra monastery to use or rent by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. The case was opened under Part 3 of Article 365-2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (abuse of office by a person providing public services, which entailed grave consequences).
It was reported in early November that the Pochayiv Lavra monastery in Ternopil region had been illegally transferred for use by the UOC-MP. In particular, Pochayiv City Council deputy Taras Palianytsia published the documents of the state registrar who in 2018 executed the decisions made by former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych in 2003 and transferred six facilities of the Pochayiv Lavra monastery (cathedrals, a bell tower, monastic cells, a bishop's house - a total of 7,000 square meters) for use by the UOC-MP until 2052. The deputy demonstrated an excerpt from the state register, according to which the Lavra's buildings were registered for the UOC-MP until January 1, 2052, with the right of extension.