MinCult opposes a UGCC service in St. Sophia but then alters its mind

St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev

An official message was posted on the website of the Ministry of Culture that a UGCC service at St. Sophia's harms the UNESCO monument, but it was promptly deleted.

UNN managed to make a screenshot of the deleted message, which was uploaded to the Network.

The message said that, as of Saturday, February 23, 2019, the Ministry of Culture did not grant permission to conduct a UGCC service in St. Sophia Cathedral.

The authors of the publication stated: such events cause irreparable damage to the monument, included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

However, the message was soon removed from the ministry’s website.

Recall that on Saturday, Patriarch Filaret (Orthodox Church of Ukraine) asked the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) to refuse to hold a liturgy in St. Sophia in Kiev.

As the UOJ reported, “honorary patriarch” of the OCU Filaret expressed concern about the planned “worship” of the UGCC in the “center of Ukrainian Orthodoxy”. Filaret asked the head of the UGCC, Sviatoslav Shevchuk, to abandon the idea of holding a divine liturgy in St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev, since “it looks as if someone from the Orthodox Primates performed a divine liturgy in the Cathedral of St. Peter in Rome”. The "patriarch" stressed that if this event does occur, it will "cause resistance from the Orthodox Ukrainians."

Earlier, Minister of Culture of Ukraine Yevgeny Nishchuk, who himself is a UGCC parishioner, issued a decree whereby on April 7, 2019, on the feast of the Annunciation, Greek Catholics will be able to perform a liturgy in St. Sophia Cathedral.

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