The chapel is being built between the Ukraina hotel and the upper exit of the metro station Khreshchatyk. Activists brought wood from Transcarpathia and promise to complete construction by the end of March. It is completely unknown who is its builder, which denomination will operate it, and who gave the construction permit for it to be built on the site.
Father Oleksa Petriv, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church’s Department of External Inter-Church Relations in Ukraine, explained that no church ever initiated the construction of tent chapels in the square, but they rather responded to the community initiative. “We will take turns praying there, following the Euromaidan model that has successfully worked there for four months. Do not look for anything that will divide us. To the contrary, we promise that no denomination will abuse its position,” he stressed.
Women who “control” the construction said that they were its “sponsors,” but preferred not to be known by name. “Good work has no need for fame. Christian Church will pray here,” they said. However, they were unable to identify the particular denomination that will operate the chapel.
It is also unknown who is its architect, even though it will be completed in the square by as soon as April 1. Finally, the question whether there is any construction permit from the Euromaidan Council or the city met a pithy response on the part of activists: “We have got the Heavenly Sotnia’s permit.”
However, Father Petriv said that it would be a temporary church, which could be dismantled when project of the square’s comprehensive reconstruction will appear.
In addition, the priest believes that the Heavenly Sotnia Chapel can be the beginning of the single national church’s emergence. “The Orthodox can reunite in the near future, which will bring us much closer to rebirth of the single Church continuing the tradition of Baptism of Kyiv, which would unite all Orthodox churches as well as the Greek Catholics,” said the head of the Department of External Inter-Church Relations in Ukraine. He believes that such church will appear while he will still be serving as priest.
Father Heorhii KOVALENKO, press secretary for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)’s Primate:
“At the moment, no one has offered us to take turns celebrating mass there, and I learned about the building itself from the news. Our church repeatedly prayed on the site, though. Now is not the time to resolve property issues between the churches as we need to pray for the souls of the fallen. Ukraine has many common iconic spaces, such as the Prince Volodymyr monument, where all denominations come to pray with no problems arising. Similarly, in this case, this place should unite us, not divide.”