The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of Ukraine says that the Supreme Court of Ukraine never allowed the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate 9UOC-MP) to retain the said title despite some media reports claiming so.
That's according to an official statement the ministry released Tuesday, December 18.
The ministry branded as inaccurate the report that the UOC-MP was allowed to retain its existing name.
It is noted that the decision of the District Administrative Court of Kyiv of April 22, 2019, suspended the renaming of the UOC-MP, which was to be conducted in accordance with the law.
The Ministry of Culture exercised its right to appeal, including in cassation.
On December 11, 2019, the Supreme Court overruled the appeal and upheld the decision of the District Administrative Court of Kyiv.
At the same time, the Ministry of Culture said that, as of December 17, 2019, the District Administrative Court of Kyiv did not proceed to consider the case on the merits.
Thus, the ministry believes that the Supreme Court did not adopt a decree that "would allow the UOC-MP not to change its title."
As UNIAN reported earlier, on December 20, 2018, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a law proposing to oblige religious organizations to indicate in their full name the affiliation to its governing center if it is located beyond Ukraine – on the territory of the state that waged military aggression against Ukraine or occupied part its territory.
Accordingly, the Moscow Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is covered by this law. Later, the Ministry of Culture defined a list of churches to be renamed. Among them is the UOC-MP.
At the same time, the UOC-MP claimed that their governing center was in Kyiv, not in Moscow, and therefore they shall not be renamed.