Pochaev, Ukraine, February 26, 2019
The abbot of the Holy Dormition-Pochaev Lavra, His Eminence Metropolitan Vladimir of Pochaev, has assured the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that despite widespread provocations and misinformation, the Church’s monasteries will not join the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”
There are fears today that the monasteries will eventually change their jurisdiction, the abbot recently said on Ukrainian television. The schismatics themselves have declared this many times. Their ideological leader, Philaret Denisenko, has even spoken about how the new law on the renaming of the Church can be used to take the Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras away from the canonical Church.
“The monasteries are not transferring and never will transfer, because we constantly ask God not to darken our understanding. Dear brothers and sisters, do not panic, do not go to extremes,” Met. Vladimir called the faithful.
“We know that the Church of Christ will always experience trials, and now, in the 21st century, we must experience what we are experiencing. Therefore, be strong in faith; try not to succumb to any provocations,” Vladyka exhorted.
Met. Vladimir’s Pochaev Lavra in particular has been a target of the schismatics and the Ukrainian state, with the brotherhood’s registration and agreement on using the buildings of the monastery, which is owned by the Ukrainian state, having been canceled. The monks continue to live there for the time being, and the outcome remains to be seen.
As the monks are doing, we must remain faithful to God in His holy Orthodox Church, for leaving the Church brings serious consequences, Met. Vladimir said.
“Because if we deprive ourselves of the right faith, we deprive ourselves of eternal salvation. Just try to think about these words—eternal salvation. If, God forbid, we do not inherit eternal salvation, we will suffer eternally and regret the mistakes we made during our temporal earthly life. That is why we try to be faithful to God in His holy Orthodox Church, which we are in,” Met. Vladimir said.
Another Metropolitan Vladimir—of Volyn and Kovel—visited the Holy Dormition Monastery in the village of Nizkinichi in the Volyn Province on Sunday to support the brotherhood and parishioners in the midst of attempts by the local authorities and clergy from the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” to force the monastery into the schismatic church, reports the diocesan press service.
His Eminence Met. Vladimir thanked the monastery abbot for their steadfastness in the face of oppression and pressure and wished them the strength to remain faithful to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its primate His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine.
On February 23, a meeting of the territorial community was held in which it was decided to move into the schismatic church. However, having learned about the provocations against the monastery, the parishioners gathered and voted unanimously to remain within the canonical Church.
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