The Verkhovna Rada has adopted as a whole the presidential bill No. 9208 on the transfer of St. Andrew's Church to the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the worshipping, religious ceremonies and processions. 237 people's deputies supported the decision during the second vote (there were 216 votes during the first one), - 112.ua reports.
The building itself will remain in state ownership. St. Andrew's Church was handed over to the Ecumenical Patriarchate for free permanent use to carry out worshipping, religious ceremonies and processions - with the condition that the Ecumenical Patriarchate will observe the legislation on protection of cultural heritage.
At the same time, transfer of the building for use entails its exclusion from the list of immovable objects of cultural heritage of the "Sophia of Kyiv" National Sanctuary.
The explanatory note to the presidential bill states that such a move will show Ukraine's unalloyed respect for the authority and role of the Mother Church in the history of development of the Ukrainian spiritual tradition and "will unambiguously contribute to the process of providing Tomos about the autocephaly of Ukrainian Orthodox Church, i.e. constitution of independent (autocephalous) jurisdiction, which will become worthy and equal among other local Orthodox churches of the World Orthodox Ecumene".