Fire damages historic Catholic church in Ukraine | Catholic National Register

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According to the parish website, Pope John Paul II visited the church on June 25, 2001, during his pastoral visit to Ukraine.

A fire severely damaged a historic Catholic church in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.

The fire broke out in the Gothic-style St. Nicholas Church during an organ music rehearsal on September 3, destroying the organ, charring the interior and sending a chandelier crashing to the ground.

Courtesy photo.

St. Nicholas is the second oldest Latin Rite Catholic Church in Kiev (also known as Kiev) after St. Alexander’s Co-Cathedral.

Consecrated in 1909, the church served members of the local Polish Catholic community before Communist authorities shut it down in 1938.

The Soviet authorities removed the altar, installed a large organ and transformed the church into a concert hall.

Courtesy photo.

Courtesy photo.

Ukraine is a country of 44 million people bordering Belarus, Russia, Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland.

About two-thirds of the population are Orthodox Christians. The second largest Christian community is the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the largest of the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with Rome. The Latin rite Catholics constitute a small minority.

Ukraine declared independence in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since then, the local Catholic community has campaigned for the return of the church, which is overseen by the cultural department of the local municipality.

Courtesy photo.

Courtesy photo.

Authorities argued that the church could not be returned because the organ was too large and could not be placed elsewhere.

Catholics were allowed to celebrate mass in the church, but the church remained a concert hall and the community was obliged to rent the building.

According to the parish website, Pope John Paul II visited the church on June 25, 2001, during his pastoral visit to Ukraine.

Kiev Post reported on September 4 that police were still investigating the cause of the fire.

After the organ was destroyed in the fire, Catholics say there is no reason why the church should not be returned. But they report that the government and the culture ministry have so far ignored their renewed demands.

It is believed that the authorities want to restore Saint-Nicolas in a concert hall.

The priests continue to celebrate daily masses for the parish community. But they are offered outdoors and the weather turns cold after summer is over.

Courtesy photo.

Courtesy photo.

Masses are celebrated by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

The local superior, Father Pavlo Vyshkovkyy, told CNA: “We call on Catholics all over the world to support us in prayer and to make our situation known to others who could help restore the house of God to people. devotees of Kiev.


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