On 20 December the Verkhovna Rada adopted the anti-Catholic bill No. 5309, which obliges the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to change its name as of the Church, “the control center which is located in the country-aggressor” and become a “Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine,” according to “the Union of Orthodox journalists.” “For” bill voted 240 deputies, against – 31 abstained 1 MP.
Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Andrei Parubiy said that he had rendered a bill to a vote “at the request of the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kiev Patriarch Filaret,” and expressed hope that it “will support the entire Ukrainian Parliament, Ukrainians and all patriots who are in this Parliament, <…> we all support the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Patriarch Filaret”.
“We have always advocated for freedom of religion, but the Church, the spiritual center of which is the state aggressor, should be the name of the country where is its center. This decision is broader religious issue,” – said the head of the Ukrainian Parliament.
Bill No. 5309 proposes to amend the Law of Ukraine “On freedom of conscience and religious organizations” amendments “regarding the names of religious organizations (associations), which are included in the structure (are part) religious organizations (enterprises), leadership (control) of which is located outside Ukraine, in a state that, according to the Law of Ukraine, recognized by carrying out military aggression against Ukraine and/or temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine”.
Previously, the Main scientific and expert Department of the Verkhovna Rada acknowledged that bill No. 5309 openly contrary to the Constitution and recommended it to reject in connection with the compliance with the objectives stated by the authors of the bill.