Saturday, May 25, 2024

    Will Chernihiv temples of UOC(MP) be returned to state ownership?

    On February 28, Acting General Director of the National Architectural and Historical Reserve “Ancient Chernihiv” Volodymyr Khomych sent a letter to the bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (in unity with the Moscow Patriarchate) Metropolitan Amvrosiy of Chernihiv and Novhorod-Siverskyi, in which he wrote that the lease agreements for the main shrines in Chernihiv expired last year, and that the temples must be returned to the state by March 27.

    This was reported by Sivershchyna Editor-in-Chief Vasyl Chepurnyi.

    “We are talking about the Spasky Cathedral – one of the oldest on the territory of Ukraine: there was no Moscow yet when the temple was already standing, but now Moscow rules in the temple. As for the complex of the Trinity Monastery, built by Hetman Ivan Mazepa, now it is the cathedral of the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate, where Mazepa was cursed. As for the Yeletsky monastery, it is also very ancient, going back to the pre-Mongol period,” Chepurnyi noted.

    According to the report, there is the need to conclude lease agreements in accordance with the new Law on Leases. “Why don’t the Moscow priests want new contracts? Because according to the new law, rent must be paid. And they are used to taking rather than paying. Don’t ask the cobbler for leftovers, and change – from the priest, says folk wisdom. And here it’s not even about “change”, here it’s about pride – how is it that they are they supposed to pay if the authorities used to kiss their hands until recently?!” notes the editor-in-chief.

    “By the way, I had a discussion online with one MP supporter who claimed that the Church had restored everything from the ruins but now they are taking it all away. But, first of all, the Spasky Cathedral was never a ruin, there was a museum there, and Muscovites just brazenly seized it in anticipation of Patriarch Mstislav’s visit to Chernihiv. At the same time, thet threw the prince’s sarcophagus and the icon of Saint Thekla into the backyard. Secondly, both Yelitskyi and Trynity were restored with the money of Chernihiv businesses – neither Moscow nor their parishioners gave money for it. Secondly, because they did not have this money in the early 1990s, but firstly, because they also never give, only take. Thirdly, if you rented your apartment to someone (although what kind of rent is it if it’s free?), and the tenant glued their wallpaper there and changed the chandelier, then should this be their apartment now, not yours?…” writes Vasyl Chepurnyi.

    According to him, the battle for the return of Ukrainian shrines to Ukrainians is still ahead, but on February 28, the first bell rang. To be continued.