The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) refused to change its name. At the same time, the law, recently recognized by the decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) as legitimate, obliges the church to indicate its affiliation with Russia in its name.
The position of the church was expressed by the Head of the Legal Department of the UOC-MP Archpriest Oleksandr Bakhov.
" The Constitutional Court of Ukraine recognised the law on the renaming as constitutional. At the same time, it should be noted that the Decision of the Constitutional Court does not oblige the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to change its name, it only concerns the compliance of the law on the renaming with the Constitution of Ukraine," Bakhov said.
According to him, the law itself does not contain any mention of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
“The statutory documents indicate that the UOC is registered in accordance with the laws of Ukraine, its founder is the Council of the UOC, its religious centre, as well as all the management bodies, is located in the city of Kyiv’, underlined the lawyer. ‘Hence, any attempts to apply this law to the UOC compulsorily would increase the number of incidents of the violation of the right to freedom of conscience and religion in Ukraine,” Bakhov said.
Thus, Bakhov believes that today there are no legal grounds for changing the name of religious organizations belonging to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The day before, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine recognized the renaming of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate as legitimate. The church is expected to be renamed to the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine.