Superior of Pochayiv Monastery: Decisions of Regional Council Are Unlawful
TERNOPIL – In answer to the recent decisions made by the Ternopil Regional Council regarding the Pochayiv Monastery, the father superior of the monastery, Archbishop Volodymyr (Moroz) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate, sent an official letter to the Ternopil Regional Public Prosecutor I. Melnychuk claiming that the regional council violated the Constitution and the Law of Ukraine on Local Self-Government by its decisions.
The temporary controlling committee of the Ternopil Regional Council, which is checking the legitimacy of the transfer of the church complex in Pochayiv to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), has recently discovered a number of misuses of the monastery. The head of the Ternopil Regional Council, Oleksii Kaida, reported this to zik.com.ua on February 17, 2010.
The committee noted in particular that there are questions to be answered by the Kremenets District, which granted permission to the monastery to excavate the sand near a forest tract, which is against the law. Therefore, the regional council refused to grant permission to the monastery for the use of the deposits.
A report of the UOC-MP web site says that the council’s Decisions “On establishing the temporary controlling committee of the Ternopil Regional Council to check the legitimacy of the transfer of the church complex in Pochayiv to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) and observance of the land and migration law” of August 27, 2009, “On information of the temporary controlling committee of the Ternopil Regional Council to check the legitimacy of the transfer of the church complex in Pochayiv to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) and observance of the land and migration law” of February 11, 2010, and “On Petition 64 of the Pochayiv Monastery of the Holy Assumption of November 10, 2009, regarding granting a mining permit to use the Pochayiv deposit of building sand” contradict the current law.
According to the archbishop’s letter, “the powers of the regional councils are envisaged by Article 43 of the Law of Ukraine “On Local Self Government, according to which questions of checking legitimacy of transfer of church complexes and observance of the land and migration law are not within the competence of the local self government bodies and these powers were not delegated to the regional council by the controlling authorities.”
Addressing the regional prosecutor, Archbishop Volodymyr noted that no representatives of the Holy Dormition Pochayiv Monastery were engaged in the inspection, and, as a result, the information presented by the deputies does not correspond to reality. In the information given the commission has failed to indicate violations concerning the legitimacy of the transfer of the estate of church buildings of the Pochayiv Monastery as well as the infringements of the agrarian and migration law. The question follows: "With what purpose and what for was the supervisory commission set up?"
Taking into account the above-mentioned, the Deputy Abbot of the Pochayiv Monastery turned to the regional prosecutor with a request to provide a legal estimate of the resolutions of the Ternopil Regional Council, to check the information and to demand the copies of the documents on the basis of which the resolutions were adopted, and to have protested in accordance with the Law of Ukraine "On Prosecutor's Office" the resolutions as contradicting the Law of Ukraine "On Local Self-Governance."
The next step on the part of the Pochayiv Monastery is the preparation of the statements of claim on refutation of the unreliable information presented by the Ternopil Regional Council, the defense of honor and dignity of the Holy Dormition Pochayiv Monastery and its brethren, compensation of moral damage.