By Kostas Onisenko
The Russian Church and its centers of influence in Ukraine attempt to repeal, through pressure on the judiciary, a specific law that obliges the representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine to state in official documents its relationship with the Moscow Patriarchate – said in its statement the Synod of the Ukrainian Church.
Particularly, the text of the Holy Synod, which was published yesterday, states:
“During the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine, the aggressor’s attempts to use direct or indirect influence on individual judges to make decisions that undermine the independence of the Ukrainian state are of particular concern. Society and the state must repel such efforts and the perpetrators must be held accountable.
In this context, the Holy Synod is particularly concerned about reports of attempts to influence the religious situation in Ukraine through court decisions. Specifically, there is talk of an attempt to repeal Law 2662, which obliges religious organizations based in the Russian Federation to declare their relationship with such a religious center in their official name.
The Diocese of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine stubbornly ignores this law. Being a part of the Russian Orthodox Church, as stated in the relevant statutory documents, falls within the indications mentioned in the law 2662, which provides that the religious organization / association called the “Ukrainian Orthodox Church” and the religious organizations that belong to it, covered by a judge decision, to publicly show that they belong to the Patriarchate of Moscow.
For two years they do not comply with the requirements of the Ukrainian legislation.
As a result, the administration of religious organizations, which belong to the Patriarchate of Moscow in Ukraine, cannot make changes to the Unified State Register, or register new organizations.
However, instead of doing one of two things – that is, either becoming a truly independent Ukrainian religious union, getting out of Russian control, or complying with Ukrainian law, declaring its name according to the actual jurisdiction to which it belongs – the Patriarchate of Moscow in Ukraine hopes to repeal Law 2662 through the Constitutional Court.”
The statement of the Synod refers to reports of certain pro-Russian deputies of Ukraine regarding the annulment of Law 2662 in the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. However, the text states that some Ukrainian parliamentarians have acted as agents of influence of Russian interests in Ukraine, and this also concerns the ecclesiastical issue.
The Synod states that is determined to oppose this “aggression of the Kremlin against Ukraine”, while calls on those who love Ukraine, regardless of religion, to act accordingly. Draws the attention of the Ukrainian state and international partners on this issue, while also appeals to the leadership of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine not to rely on pro-Russian politicians and their influence, but to recognize the truth, to follow the Tomos of Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and to start a productive dialogue with the Ukrainian Church.