2017-05-19 14:49:00

Ukrainian ambassador summoned to Vatican regarding Rada's intention to pass bills on status of church organizations

Moscow, May 19, Interfax - Ukrainian Ambassador to the Vatican Tatyana Izhevskaya was summoned to an audience regarding the upcoming adoption by the Verkhovnaya Rada of two bills that the Russian Orthodox Church considers to be anti-church ones, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate said.

"For the information of Ukrainian Verkhovnaya Rada deputies. The Vatican is concerned about the possibility of adoption of [Bills] 4128 and 4511. Our ambassador of Ukraine to the Vatican was summoned. The Vatican fully agrees with the position voiced by Roman Catholic Bishop Stanislav Shyrokoradyuk on this matter," Archpriest Nikolay Danilevich, deputy chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, said on his Facebook account.

Bishop Stanislav Shyrokoradyuk of the Kharkov and Zaporozhye Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, earlier criticized the said laws, which the Rada expected to debate on Thursday, but the debate was eventually postponed.

Bill 4511 gives special status to religious organizations "whose administrative centers are located in a state recognized by the Verkhovnaya Rada as an aggressor state." The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate has repeatedly said it sees this document as discriminatory and jeopardizing its communities on the territory of Ukraine.

Bill 4128 gives people belonging to a church community the right to change its charter by voting by simple majority, which the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate believes will lead to the legalization of raiding takeovers of its churches and their transfer to the self-proclaimed "Kiev Patriarchate".