Kiev, January 16, 2019
Only one question remains for the Ukrainian state that is intent on taking the Kiev Caves Lavra away from the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church—to re-register it, or to simply seize it and give it to Patriarch Bartholomew’s Ukrainian nationalist church, commented the abbot of the Lavra His Eminence Metropolitan Pavel of Vyshgorod and Chernobyl on Ukrainian television, reports RIA-Novosti.
The abbot, however, intends to defend the interests of the brotherhood: “The state should not dictate to me where to go and how to deal with the Church.” The Ukrainian schismatics, on the other hand, are certain that the Lavra will sooner or later be in their illegitimate hands.
Met. Pavel also believes that the current Ukrainian authorities are trying hard to discredit the canonical Ukrainian Church. “Today they have one goal,” he said, “to discredit the Church.”
According to the Ukrainian hierarch, the parishioners of the canonical Ukrainian Church are “wholly subject to God, not participating in the political mishaps in our life.”
The state is also trying to discredit the brotherhood of the Kiev Caves Lavra in particular. Minister of Culture Evgeny Nischuk claims that during a surprise inventory conducted at the monastery late last year, several valuable icons were missing. Archpriest Alexander Bakhov, the head of the UOC’s legal department, has said that Nischuk’s statements are unjustified and a mere provocation.
To this day, the Ukrainian state continues the communist tradition of owning historical Church sites, such as the Kiev Caves Lavra and the Pochaev Lavra.
Met. Pavel also said that he does not know about the icons in question, noting that the accusations are just an attempt to take the Lavra away from the brotherhood and the Church. Ukrainian authorities have also been investigating Met. Pavel personally, searching his residence, confiscating his property, and accusing him of sectarian hatred and planning provocations.
The brotherhood is also being pressured to join Constantinople’s Ukrainian nationalist church, as Met. Pavel attested.
“I was told today: You will announce and say, let the brothers decide—perhaps they want to switch to the Ukrainian church. I said: ‘They are fully in the Ukrainian Church. They are wholly subject to God,’” the abbot said in his television briefing.
Furthermore, Archimandrite Polycarp of the Lavra also stated that the brethren have no intention of leaving for Russia and taking the monastery’s valuables with them, as they are being accused of.
Despite Ukrainian state and schismatic propaganda, the monks love their native Ukraine and have no desire to go anywhere else: “We’re not planning to leave our holy site for anywhere—not to Russia or anywhere, because we are Ukrainians, we live in our land, we pray for our people and we pray for our country, that the Lord might bless it.”
Follow us on Facebook!