There are no plans to transfer the Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras, says Ukrainian Minister of Culture

Kiev, February 14, 2020

Holy Dormition Pochaev Lavra. Photo: Holy Dormition Pochaev Lavra. Photo:     

The Ukrainian government has no plans to seize the world-famous Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and transfer them to the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” says Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports Vladimir Borodyansky.

Both sites have been state-owned since soviet times and are leased to the use of the UOC. If there are no violations of the law, then there are no legal grounds for revising the existing contracts, the Minister said in an interview with published on February 11.

“We’re not planning to transfer them to anyone; we have no plans to transfer them,” Borodyansky said.

Answering the question whether he knows the results of the audit conducted by the previous government, Borodyansky noted that he is not familiar with the context and its results.

“We now have no legal grounds for any review,” the Minister of culture concluded.

Meanwhile, “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko and other “hierarchs” of the OCU have repeatedly expressed the conviction that both Lavras would eventually belong to them.

It was well known that Poroshenko’s administration sought to take the Lavras away from the canonical Church, and in February last year a case was opened against the Kiev Caves Lavra in connection with the supposed loss of 10 museum items not found during the audit conducted in late 2018.

A number of moves were made against the Pochaev Lavra as well, with the transfer of land to the monastery and the registration of the monastery being canceled. However, in November, the Pochaev City Council voted to permanently allocate a plot of land to the Pochaev Lavra, greatly angering the schismatic nationalists.

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