2019-03-13 12:12:00

Ukraine's Constitutional Court refuses to consider legality of Rada decision to support autocephaly tomos

Kiev, March 13, Interfax - The Ukrainian Constitutional Court has decided not to assess the legality of the Verkhovnaya Rada's decision to support the request for autocephaly made by the country's president to the Constantinople patriarch.

Forty-seven Ukrainian deputies earlier asked the Constitutional Court to recognize as contradicting the Constitution the Rada's decision supporting the tomos, which they believe violates the principle of separation of state and church.

In the meantime, the Constitutional Court found that the issues addressed in the Rada decision are "political and should be resolved within the terms of reference and political expediency of the relevant bodies of state authority."

The Constitutional Court judges found that the parliament "can make political decisions to express its position ad evaluate specific events, facts and circumstances."

"Adopting this decision, the Verkhovnaya Rada expressed its political position on supporting the request made by the Ukrainian president to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to grant a tomos on autocephaly to the Orthodox church in Ukraine," the court said in its decision.

Thus, it follows from the Constitutional Court's verdict that the issues addressed in the Rada decision "cannot be considered by the Constitutional Court as they are political, not legal in nature."

For those reasons, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine declined to initiate proceedings in the case.