Kiev, December 25, Interfax - The Ukrainian Orthodox Church plans to go to the country's Constitutional Court to appeal a law that obliges it to include affiliation with the Russian Orthodox Church in its name.
"We intend to defend our rights by all legal methods. We forwarded a request to the president of Ukraine, asking him to use his veto right, but, as we can see, he hasn't used this right... Since it is a violation of constitutional norms and principles, we are initiating an appeal to the Constitutional Court," the website of the Synodal Information Department quoted the UOC's chief lawyer, Archpriest Alexander Bakhov, as saying.
"After this law enters into force and after it starts to be applied in practice, it will give a broader understanding as to what we can do to defend our rights," the priest said.
Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko signed into law a bill on December 22, obliging the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate to indicate affiliation with the Russian Orthodox Church in its name. The Verkhovnaya Rada passed this bill on December 20.
MPs from the Opposition Bloc faction earlier announced their plans to ask the Prosecutor General's Office and the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to respond to irregularities that may have accompanied the parliament's adoption of the above-mentioned bill.