Patriarch Filaret Addresses President Regarding Possible Privatization of Ukrainian Shrines
Patriarh Filaret of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate sent a letter to President Viktor Yanukovych expressing his concern about Bill 9690 “On making alterations to certain laws of Ukraine (regarding the transfer of objects of the cultural heritage to religious organizations).” So reported the web site of UOC-KP.
Representatives of the Kyivan Patriarchate, in particular, are of the opinion that if passed the bill will open the door for the Moscow Patriarchate to privatization of “Ukrainian national shrines, the Kyiv Cave Monastery, Pochaiv Monastery, the Monastery of Epiphany in Kremenets” and the complex of the Feodosiivskyi Monastery, “which has been legally in the use of the Kyivan Patriarchate for 20 years and where a men’s monastery is functioning!”
The head of UOC-KP, Patriarch Filaret reminded that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) is a structural unit of the Russian Orthodox Church. Therefore, the Ukrainian shrines may in future be transferred to the ownership of Moscow.
“From numerous examples, like the gas price or campaign against the Ukrainian cheese, we can see well the unfriendly policy pursued by the Russian leadership against Ukraine. I am convinced that the desire of the Kremlin to gain control over the Ukrainian gas-transportation system, to drag it into the fettering “custom union” and initiatives of “privatization” of the Ukrainian shrines in favour of the Moscow Patriarchate are events of the same line,” wrote the Patriarch.