On Thursday October 18, Ukraine decided to grant the Constantinople Patriarchate the right to use an iconic church, which will now serve them as a representative place in Kyiv, after their decision to recognize a church independent of the jurisdiction of Moscow in Ukraine.
A total of 237 deputies, a minimum of 226 was required, voted in favor of a law proposed by President Petro Poroshenko to this effect. He still needs to promulgate the text before it becomes effective.
Under this law, the Constantinople Patriarchate gets the right to “freely and permanently use” Saint Andrew Church’s in Kyiv, one of the iconic monuments of the Ukrainian capital. However, the State will remain its owner.
This decision is part of the process of recognition of an independent Church in Ukraine by Constantinople, as Dmytro Gorevoy, expert in Ukrainian religion, explained to the news agency Agence France-Presse.
“To have normal cooperation with the Constantinople Patriarchate, they must have a representation in Kyiv,” he specified.
Perched on a hill, this masterpiece of Baroque architecture with turquoise domes is considered one of the most beautiful churches in Kiev. It was built in the 18th century, when Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire. Its plans were designed by Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli, an Italian architect and decorator born in Paris. His other constructions, numerous in the former Russian Empire, include the Winter Palace and Smolny Convent in Saint Petersburg. They are the result of an adaptation of European baroque elements to local traditions.
Commissioned by Empress Elisabeth of Russia, the church received its name after the apostle Saint Andrew who, according to legend, visited the Kyiv region and prophesied that it would become the cradle of Christianity in the Slavic lands.