Press secretary of Metropolitan Volodymyr: 'We will continue to
humbly ask for permission to celebrate the Divine Liturgy in St. Sophia'
15 February 2011, 17:55 |
"The Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) did not
initiate the transfer of the National Reserve St. Sophia Cathedral to
the ministry of Culture and Tourism of Ukraine. For us, this question
is not a matter of principle. As far as we know, this is due to
UNESCO's recommendation, for Sophia of Kyiv is inscribed on the World
Heritage List," commented the press secretary of the head of UOC-MP,
Fr. Heorhii Kovalenko, on the transfer of the reserve to the
jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture.
"The UOC-MP never claimed and does not claim jurisdiction over Sophia
of Kyiv as a property complex, as some journalists write. Our church
has no funds to maintain the reserve, but we have always claimed
permission for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to conduct services in
the Sophia of Kyiv at least a few times per year. We are ready to
comply with all the conditions of the museum regarding the number of
people, choir singing, absence of candles, etc. But, unfortunately,
unlike President Yushchenko, His Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr of
the UOC-MP never celebrated a divine service in the ancient Cathedral
of the Kyivan Metropolitans. We will not act as the White Fraternity
or the Kyivan Patriarchate did. We will continue to humbly ask for
permission to celebrate the Divine Liturgy in the church, which was
the intended use for the cathedral when it was built by our holy
ancestors, Prince Volodymyr and Holy Prince Yaroslav Mudryi," said
Fr. Heorhii Kovalenko according to orthodoxy.org.ua.
"We believe that the monuments of our spiritual culture should be
preserved by the church and state together. St. Sophia Cathedral
should be both a museum and a place where prayer is said, for then
the church is alive and, however surprising it may be, better
preserved," stated Fr. Heorhii Kovalenko.
As RISU reported on February 8, the National Reserve St. Sophia
Cathedral sent a letter to the president calling him to protect the
greatest Christian shrine of Ukraine from destruction. The letter was
signed by hundreds of people including foreign scholars who joined
the address. According to the authors of the letter, the
subordination of Sophia will destabilize the work of the reserve,
eliminate the current effective system of management, and threaten
the preservation of the world and national cultural heritage."
At the same time, the media has published information about how the
present authorities want the Sophia of Kyiv to become the residence
of the Patriarch of Moscow.