Kiev, October 18, Interfax - The Verkhovnaya Rada has supported the presidential bill on the use of St. Andrew's Church in Kiev, which envisages its transfer to the Ecumenical (Constantinople) Patriarchate.
According to the head of the committee on spirituality, Nikolay Kniazhitsky, the transfer of St. Andrew's Church to the Ecumenical Patriarchate does not violate Ukrainian legislation.
"It [the bill] was written within the boundaries of the legislation. It instructs the Cabinet of Ministers to transfer this architectural monument for use, only for use, it does not contradict Ukrainian legislation, but indicates the political position of the Ukrainian president and the Ukrainian parliament," Kniazhitsky said.
The bill provides that St. Andrew's Church, which is an object of cultural heritage and a monument of architecture and state property, be transferred to the Ecumenical Patriarchate for permanent use to perform church services, religious ceremonies, and processions.
"The use of St. Andrew's Church by the Ecumenical Patriarchate is to be carried out in compliance with the legislation on the protection of cultural heritage," the document reads.
The authors of the bill believe that the transfer of the church to the Ecumenical Patriarchate will speed up the issuance of a tomos.
St. Andrew's Church is now used by the self-proclaimed Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC), which is expected to become part of the local Orthodox church in Ukraine after autocephaly is officially granted by the Constantinople Patriarchate.