May 19, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
RT France, translated by Tom Winter –
Tensions continue to rise over Ukrainian legislative bills on control of the Russian Church. After the Patriarch of Russia asked the Pope to intervene, the Ukrainian ambassador was summoned to the Vatican.
Pope Francis summoned the Ukrainian ambassador to the Holy See after controversial bills for the Russian Orthodox Church were proposed in Ukraine.
“The Vatican is concerned about the possibility of passing bills 4128 and 4511 [against the Russian Orthodox Church]. Our Ukrainian ambassador to the Vatican was summoned. The Vatican is fully supportive of the position expressed by Catholic Bishop Stanislav Chirokoraduk on this subject,” — posting of Nikolai Danilevich, archpriest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Patriarchate of Moscow on his facebook page.
Stanislav Chirokoraduk, criticizing the Ukrainian legislative motives for the Orhodox Church, lamented on May 16: “How can such bills be proposed? If the Church exists, it has its own rules […] It is a humiliation of the Church. “
On May 18, the Ukrainian Parliament postponed the vote on these bills sine die, failing a majority to get them accepted. One of them provided that religious organizations headed by an “aggressor State” – a term that Kiev currently uses to designate Russia – are obliged to agree with the Ukrainian authorities on the appointment of metropolitans and bishops, and to register with the Ukrainian authorities to be placed under surveillance.
The other bill proposes to change the “Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations” to define belonging to a religious community on the basis of “self-identification.” In other words, a sufficiently large group of faithful in a parish would be able to change the confession of a church.
The Russian Orthodox Church denounced these bills and the Russian Patriarch Kirill even called on the Pope, the UN, and world leaders to intervene.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church attached to the Patriarchate of Moscow comprises the majority of Orthodox parishes in Ukraine. Some Orthodox churches in the country are controlled by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Autocephalous Church, which are not recognized by the Orthodox Churches, which encompass the majority of the Orthodox Churches in the world.
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