Patriarch Alexis II's fears unfounded, say Lviv civil authorities

16.05.2001, 14:38
Kyiv/Lviv, 9 May 2001: Ivan Rudnytsky, head of the Sykhiv residential council denies that the Lviv City Council had any intentions of demolishing St. Volodymyr's church. Information from the TASS news agency dated May 3, 2001, stated that Patriarch Alexis II of the Russian Orthodox Church expressed concerns that Lviv City Council passed a resolution to demolish the church of St. Volodymyr, which is located in Sykhiv, a suburb of Lviv, Ukraine.

During the recent Papal visit to Athens, His Holiness Pope John Paul II asked that God forgive the sons and daughters of the Catholic Church for any sins they may have committed against the Orthodox. TASS reported that Patriarch Alexis II said, "It is necessary to take a look at how this apology will be expressed in deeds." In June of this year, a Papal Visit to Ukraine is planned which will include a visit to Lviv, a city with a predominantly Ukrainian Greek Catholic population. On 26 June 2001, Sykhiv will be the location a youth meeting with Pope John Paul II. St. Volodymyr's church is located near to the square where the youth meeting will take place. In 1991, the Orthodox parish community of St. Volodymyr was legally registered with the local civil administration and obtained the necessary documents to build a church. In 1993, after the division of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine into three separate jurisdictions, the majority of the parish members voted to re-register their parish under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kyiv Patriarchate headed by Patriarch Filaret. The minority opposition remaining loyal to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate constructed a small building to act as a temporary chapel. However, this structure was erected without the necessary legal documents on the grounds that were held legally by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate. The people forming the community loyal to the Moscow Patriarchate have not been officially registered with the local civil authorities. Rudnytsky stated that the Lviv City Council did not pass any resolution to demolish the church that was built by the non-registered community. Source: Press Office of the Catholic Churches in Ukraine. Press Release No 7 Photograph of Patriarch Alexis II with the permission of the Russian Orthodox Church.