Ukrainian Orthodox Church to continue running Crimean Diocese

Moscow, March 11, Interfax – The Simferopol and Crimean Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate has registered a new charter with the Russian Justice Ministry. Its status remains unchanged.

“The Simferopol and Crimean Diocese remains part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. It continues reporting to the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church headed by the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine,” the legal service of the Moscow Patriarchate said in a commentary posted on the website of the Russian Orthodox Church on Wednesday.

The document says the powers of the administrative bodies of the diocese in Crimea (the ruling archbishop, the diocesan assembly, and the diocesan council) are determined by its charter and the charter on the administration of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which stays in effect in Crimea.

The diocese says that the Justice Ministry on December 24, 2014 registered the final text of the charter of the Crimean diocese, which takes into account the fact that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is a self-governed part of the Moscow Patriarchate.

“The allegations that the registered charter of the Simferopol and Crimean Diocese contains provisions on the transfer of the property of the diocese to the Russian Orthodox Church and that the property of the diocese belongs to the latter are false and essentially prevocational,” the document says.

The document also denies the information of the powers of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church to approve procedures governing the use and disposal of real estate and especially valuable property of the diocese and its canonical divisions, the duty of the diocese to pay money to the Russian Orthodox Church in amounts determined by its Synod, and the right of the patriarch to veto decisions made by the diocesan council.