Kiev, August 12, 2019
A new petition was registered on the official website of the President of Ukraine on Saturday, calling for the cancelation of the transfer of Kiev’s historic 18th-century St. Andrew’s Church to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, reports the Union of Orthodox Journalists.
As of 2:30 PM (Moscow) today, the petition has gathered 171 signatures of the necessary 25,000, with 91 days remaining.
On October 17, former President Petro Poroshenko introduced a bill to transfer St. Andrew’s to the permanent use of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, in order “to eliminate the negative consequence of the interference of Russia—an aggressor country—in Ukrainian Orthodoxy.”
It is unclear how St. Andrew’s is connected to Russian interference, as the church had previously been used by the schismatic “Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”
The Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers later transferred the church on November 28. At the same time, St. Andrew’s Church remains in the cultural heritage list of the National Sanctuary Complex “Kiev Sophia.”
The Patriarchate of Constantinople served its first Liturgy in the church on December 13, without the permission of the canonical hierarch of Kiev, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine.