Rada will consider the bills against the UOC after receiving Kyiv autocephaly

© RIA Novosti / Grigory to Castinplace in photomontage parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in Kiev. 18 may 2017Rada will consider the bills against the UOC after receiving Kyiv autocephaly© RIA Novosti / Grigory to Castinplace the image Bank

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine will consider the draft laws on the status of religious organizations directed against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), after granting of a Tomos (decree) of the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Bartholomew, said Friday the speaker of Parliament Andriy Parubiy.

Rada planned to consider two resonant draft law on the status of religious organizations in mid-may of 2017. The first of these suggests that religious organizations, senior centers are in the state recognized Ukraine «aggressor country» will be able to appoint metropolitans and bishops only in agreement with the authorities. The second bill proposes to give the congregation the right to change the jurisdiction of the religious communities, the centers of which are in Ukraine and behind its limits. Deputy Chairman of the faction «Block of Petro Poroshenko» Alexey Goncharenko later said that the Parliament will not consider these bills as there is no required number of votes for their adoption.

«Now the key issue is obtaining the Tomos and it will solve the issue of those two laws, and a large number of other issues that will unite all Orthodox Christians in Ukraine into one Church,» said Parubiy during a press conference, which was broadcast on Ukrainian TV channels.

The speaker also noted that these bills are under his special control. According to Parubiy, there is a working group, which held discussions on bills.

He expects that the issue of obtaining Kiev Thomas will be decided in the summer / fall of this year. «When this decision will be made, believe me, all other solutions very quickly and simply be taken», — said Parubiy, stressing that the bills will be voted on when their adoption will be a sufficient number of votes.

In Ukraine today there are canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC-MP), which is a self-governing Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, and unrecognized by the world Orthodox Church structures — the «Kiev Patriarchate» (UOC-KP) and Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC). The UOC-MP has repeatedly reported on cases of harassment of priests and seizures of the Orthodox churches of the dissenters.

The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is trying to achieve recognition of non-canonical structures and the creation on their basis one local Autocephalous Church. In response to the appeal of the secular authorities, the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople declared that «has decided on the request to be in close communion with the other sister Orthodox churches for their information and coordination». Poroshenko believes that the Tomos of autocephaly to be signed «to 1030 anniversary of the baptism of Ukraine-Rus ‘» (July 28).

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