In Lviv Dumenko to"consecrate" building of temple on land allocated for UOC

Temples of the UOC and OCU in Lviv. Photo: Googlemap

Sergei Dumenko intends to "consecrate" the construction of a temple on the site allocated for the UOC.

On September 12, 2021, the head of the OCU, Sergei Dumenko, intends to “consecrate” the cross on the construction site of the future cathedral of the Lviv-Sokal Eparchy, reports the resource “Tvoe Misto” (“Your City”).

“September 12, 16:30 – the consecration of the cross on the site where it is planned to build the future cathedral of the Lviv-Sokal Eparchy by His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphany and the bishops and clergy of the UOC (OCU), Lviv, 89 Chervona Kalyna Avenue, near the Church of St. Vladimir the Great Equal to the Apostles," writes the site.

However, as the UOJ found out, the OCU does not have the right to carry out construction work at the indicated address, since this site of 0.56 hectares was allocated by the city for the UOC community back in 1991. In 1993, after the rise of the Filaret schism, the large stone church in honour of St. Prince Vladimir, almost completed by the believers of the UOC, was seized by schismatics. The community, which had lost its temple, first held its services in the open shelter and then managed to build a small wooden church next to the seized one, which was also named after Prince Vladimir. Thus, now two churches (UOC and OCU) bear the same name and are located at the same address - ave. 89 Chervona Kalyna Avenue.

According to the rector of the church, Archpriest Vladimir Kuzyo, according to all legal documents, the legal successor of the UOC community, which was allocated a land plot, is his community belonging to the canonical Church: “On August 28, 1991, it was decided that a land plot was allocated to the UOC community. When in 1992, as a result of the schism, the community was divided, then they (UOC-KP – Ed.) began to claim that they were the legal successors. But many courts were held, all judicial instances, and we (the UOC community – Ed.) managed to prove that we, those who built the temple, the legal successors."

The priest said that the OCU has no right to carry out construction work on this site: “According to the court, we own both churches. In 2009 we won an economic court. Later there were the highest economic, administrative courts, the decision came into force. According to this decision, that community (UOC-KP / OCU – Ed.) has no name or registration. And according to the law, the entire land plot is ours and the temple that they own is also ours. But since no one enforces court decisions, accordingly, this situation has been dragging on for a long time. Now they just "insolently" decided to put up a cross for the construction of the cathedral. Although they do not have absolutely any permits for this, because in addition to the court's decision, there is also a letter from the City Council, which clearly states that no decisions were made to permit the construction by the OCU."

Fr. Vladimir provided the UOJ with a copy of the letter from the Lviv City Council dated November 10, 2020, signed by the acting Director of the Department of City Construction S. Korovainik, which says: “The Lviv City Council did not make a decision to allocate a land plot for the religious community of the UOC KP (OCU) at 89 Chervona Kalyna Avenue for the construction of a religious building (the construction of a temple)."

Earlier, the UOJ has repeatedly written about pressure on the community of the St. Prince Vladimir Church in Lviv. At the end of January 2018, radicals blocked the temple, shouting "Down with the Moscow priest", claiming that they were demanding its demolition. A few days later, the temple was set on fire, which caused outrage throughout the Orthodox world. Primates and hierarchs of the Bulgarian, Serbian, Greek and other Churches condemned the arson. This was even noted by Patriarch Bartholomew, who wrote in a letter to Metropolitan  Philaret of Lviv of the UOC: “When a crime is committed in the name of religion, it is certainly a crime against religion. Any demonstration of violence in places of worship increases tension and contributes to the formation of discord among nations."

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