The leadership of the national reserve “Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra” ordered representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate to leave the territory and buildings of the Lavra until March 29. This was reported on the website of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.
In a document signed by and.about. Director General of the reserve Alexander Rudnik, it is noted that since 2013, an agreement was concluded between the administration of the reserve and the monastery of the UOC (MP) of the Holy Dormition Kiev-Pechersk Lavra on the gratuitous use of religious buildings and other property.
Now they decided to break this agreement, since a special commission found that the monastery violated the conditions for the use of state property.
In his warning, Rudnik refers to the decree of Vladimir Zelensky, who in December 2022 put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council “On Certain Aspects of the Activities of Religious Organizations” in Ukraine. This document, among other things, implies the introduction of personal sanctions against representatives of religious organizations associated with Russia.
In turn, the UOC-MP stated that the church could not be evicted from the monastery, “because there is no legal justification for this.”
“As for the work of the group mentioned in the letter, the content of its conclusions was not reported anywhere, and they were obviously drawn up in a biased way and with gross violation of legal norms. So the only reason for the resettlement of monks from an Orthodox shrine is only a whim of officials from the Ministry of Culture, the same as it was under the Soviet regime in the 60s of the last century,” the UOC-MP noted.
In the Moscow Patriarchate, the initiative of the reserve’s leadership was called “the apogee of lawlessness.” “The expulsion of the canonical Church from the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra will forever be inscribed in the history of anti-church persecution, this ruthless act of persecution will be remembered by believers all over the world,” said Vladimir Legoyda, head of the Synodal Department for Church Relations with Society and the Media.
In early January, the Assumption Cathedral and the Refectory Church of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra were returned to the ownership of Ukraine. Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine Oleksandr Tkachenko said that the commission for the transfer and acceptance of churches from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to the state has completed its work.
Earlier, the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy stated that it would recommend not to extend the lease of the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Assumption and Refectory churches in the National Kiev-Pechersk Reserve.
On December 26, 2022, Metropolitan Pavel (Lebed), the abbot of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, announced the expiration of the lease on two churches. From January 1 this year, representatives of the UOC-MP will not have access to these temples. On this occasion, he recorded a video message to President Volodymyr Zelensky and urged to “protect” the UOC-MP – to call on the government and deputies not to make a decision to end the lease of churches.
In early December, a representative of the OCU, Yevstratiy Zorya, announced that the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra had become a monastery of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU). This step, according to Zorya, was made with the aim of “restoring historical justice and overcoming the consequences of the non-canonical subordination of the Ukrainian shrine to the power of the Moscow Patriarchate.” The new head of the Lavra will be Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Epiphanius.
Leave a Reply