Nice court orders Constantinople Patriarchate to give Russia keys to St. Nicholas Cathedral
01 November 2011, 13:17
Nice court orders Constantinople Patriarchate to give Russia keys to St.
Paris, November 1, Interfax - A Nice court has ordered the
Constantinople Patriarchate to hand over the keys to St. Nicholas
Cathedral in Nice to Russian representatives within seven days, the
local media have reported.
Under the court ruling, there will be a penalty of 6,000 euros for every
day of delay.
Russia previously filed suit asking the court to order the community of
the Constantinople Patriarchate, which is using the cathedral, to give
Russian representatives access to the building and give them a complete
set of keys to the cathedral.
On May 19, a French court ruled against the Constantinople Patriarchate,
upholding Russia's ownership rights to the cathedral. Russia, in turn,
made a decision to hand the church over to the Corsun Diocese of the
Moscow Patriarchate for free and unlimited use. However, the
Constantinople Patriarchate is dragging out the handover of keys.
In late September, the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of
Russian Tradition in Western Europe (the Constantinople Patriarchate)
said it continues to consider itself a lawful user of St. Nicholas
"The community of the Constantinople Patriarchate has no intention of
leaving the cathedral, but it has had to stop charging for entrance,
which, in turn, led to the dismissal of all staff who received visitors
and maintained the church, since there was no money to pay them, and the
closure of the cathedral to visitors outside of service hours," the
Exarchate said in a statement.