The appeal of the executive committee of the Vasyl Stus ‘Memorial to President Kuchma
Respected Mr. President!
Now Ukraine is standing before the historical choice: to get or not to get the united Ukrainian Orthodox Church with the center in Kyiv, the Church about which many generations of Ukrainians dreamed. Thank God and Providence we are at last having the independent state, for which the Ukrainian people paid a very high price — millions of tormented by the NKVD butchers, starved to death, shot down, frozen in the Siberian and Magadan concentration camps. Our national sanctuaries were ruined and robbed, the sources of the Ukrainian spirituality were trampled and polluted. Before the memory of our dead, before coming generations, before Ukrainians still unborn, before the eyes of the entire civilized world we have no right to permit trampling and raping what remained of our native Church which has just stood from the ashes, since this is an uncorrectable sin before the god and before the people. Unfortunately, we are eyewitnesses of further ruining of Ukrainian churches that had been started in 1918 by the bolshevik Russia. This is done, with the benediction of some hierarchies of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchy. There is information that from the Ukrainian churches, which enter the system of the Moscow Patriarchy, in particular from the Kyivo-Pecherska Lavra, sacred relics are secretly smuggled and exchanged with the copies, made beforehand. And this is carried out just when our Supreme Rada adopted the law signed by you too about the protection of the cultural inheritance. It is also known that the Moscow Patriarchy pretends to the ownership of the repaired Sviato-Uspenskiy Cathedral. If this happens, it will result in a new round of inter-confessional clashes in Ukraine. The only acceptable compromise in this situation would be the preservation of the previous status of the Cathedral — to be included into the national reservation ‘Kyivo-Pecherska Lavra. Yes, according to the Ukrainian Constitution church is separated from the state, but this does not mean that all who live in Ukraine, believers and non-believers, must ignore the protection of our ageold belief, our church and our national treasures. It certainly concerns the Kyivo-Pecherska Lavra because it is not merely Ukrainian spiritual treasury, but it belongs to all the world. Respected Leonid Danilovich! The God Almighty and the people put on your shoulders a great responsibility, as the President of Ukraine you must protect Ukrainian culture and church, our national sanctuaries and our national dignity! We insist that you must interfere into the situation and apply the necessary measures, which are: 1. To create an extraordinary state commission for checking (inventory) those values that are kept in the cathedrals, monasteries and other religious establishments, which are owned or temporary used by the Moscow Patriarchy. The commission must include law-enforcers, Ukrainian clergy, public and scholars. 2. To establish a stern state control for preserving the church property. 3. To permit public organizations to keep guard relative to preserving the values. 4. If the facts of smuggling outside our state religious sanctuaries, then the guilty must be brought to the crime responsibility. 5. To demand the immediate return of the Ukrainian sanctuaries to our churches.