Source: Shmygal nails down transfer of UOC temples to OCU with Phanar head

20 January 2021 17:20
Denis Shmygal and Patriarch Bartholomew during the service in Phanar. Photo: Denis Shmygal and Patriarch Bartholomew during the service in Phanar. Photo:

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal assured Patriarch Bartholomew of full administrative support for the OCU, including "transfers" of temples of the canonical UOC.

During the meeting of Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal with Patriarch Bartholomew, which took place in Istanbul on November 30, 2020, the Ukrainian official pledged full support for the OCU and said Kyiv is ready to start implementing a relevant plan," a source in the government head's entourage told the UOJ.

The plan provides for the "transfer" of temples and parishes of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church to the OCU, as well as the full range of administrative support for this structure by the state. According to the source, Denis Shmygal told Patriarch Bartholomew he would personally oversee these activities.

The key executor of this work will be the head of the newly created Department of Ethnic and Religious Policy at the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers, Andrei Yurash, who through his son, an MP from the "Servant of the People" Sviatoslav Yurash, intends to push through the Verkhovna Rada legislative initiatives aimed at strengthening the position of the OCU.

Also, the source of the UOJ claims that Vladimir Zelensky will distance himself from these activities, as he fears damage to his electoral initiatives.

Earlier, Denis Shmygal said that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is a reliable partner of the state and can enjoy full legal and economic support.

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