In a new appeal, the Lavra’s abbot, Metropolitan Pavel, said that the inhabitants of the monastery are “citizens of their country” and are not collaborators. And he added that they are not against all legal inspections and commissions.
Today, the monks of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), together with the abbot of the Lavra, Metropolitan Pavel, recorded a video message to the Ukrainian citizenship of the monks, where they stated that he and his “brothers” were not going to leave anywhere.
On Monday, March 13, the monks of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, headed by Metropolitan Pavel (real name Peter Lebed), reported that they did not intend to comply with the order to leave the monastery at the request of the museum-reserve.
“We do not intend to move out and will not, because now there are laws that are on the side of man. We are threatened that they will deal with us – this is not the 17th year. Today there is a world community, there is some kind of culture,” the viceroy said Lavra Pavel.
According to the metropolitan, “this shrine (Kiev-Pechersk Lavra – ed.) was created for the whole country, for the whole world.”
“We are not collaborators, we are citizens of our country, we are people who have been living here since 1988, many have no other place than this. No one can tear us away from the love of God,” the governor tried to appeal to the Ukrainian citizenship of the monks.
At the same time, Metropolitan Pavel noted that representatives of the UOC-MP are not against all legal actions, inspections and commissions, but they are convinced that they were not provided with legal grounds for eviction from the Lavra.
What preceded the eviction of the monks of the UOC-MP
The appeal was written in response to the demands of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine (dated March 10) to the monks of the UOC-MP to leave the territory of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra reserve and move out of the premises that are located on its territory until March 29. This means that the above representatives of the UOC-MP must vacate the buildings that are on the balance sheet of the reserve before the specified date of the current year.
Since December 2022, employees of the Security Service of Ukraine began to conduct searches in a number of dioceses of the UOC-MP in different regions of Ukraine. During searches and investigations in a number of cathedrals and monasteries, child pornography, pro-Kremlin literature, propaganda materials and large amounts of foreign currency in cash were found.
On January 19, 2023, a bill was registered in the Verkhovna Rada to ban the activities of the UOC-MP for ties with Russia.
Today it became known that more than 60% of Ukrainians participating in an Active Group survey support a ban on the activities of a church organization.
Also, we recall, on December 28, 2022, it became known that the leadership of the National Reserve “Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra” refused to renew the agreements with the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate on the use of the Assumption Cathedral and the Refectory Church in 2023.
In October 2022, the rector of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra was detained at the border with the smuggling of church valuables. The abbot himself denied the fact of smuggling and said that he was transporting “icons bought in an icon shop that do not have any historical and cultural values.”
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