Lvov, Ukraine, March 21, 2022
For the first time since Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople created the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” together with the Ukrainian and American governments in late 2018, a monastery of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church has joined the schismatic OCU.
About 100-150 parishes have voluntarily joined the OCU, and many others have been violently seized or forced into schism by the falsification of official documents, but until this weekend, no monasteries had abandoned the Orthodox Church.
Yesterday, the abbot of the Holy Resurrection-New Athos Monastery in Lvov announced the transfer of the entire monastery to the schismatics.
The transfer was confirmed to the Spiritual Greatness of Lvov website by Makary Maletich, the schismatic “Metropolitan” of Lvov who ruled the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church before it joined the new OCU. The monastery’s listing has already been removed from the canonical Lvov Diocese’s website.
“We must strengthen Ukraine on all fronts: military, economic, and spiritual,” Makary said, calling others to join the OCU.
Video has circulated online in which the abbot Fr. Job Olshansky explains the move. Fr. Job was also the head of the canonical diocese’s Information-Education and Youth Departments. He was previously a monk of Vatopedi Monastery on Mt. Athos, and his New Athos Monastery follows the Athonite typikon.
After talking to many other priests, Fr. Job was prepared to take one of three steps, he explains: to join Constantinople’s Exarchate in Ukraine, to join the OCU, or to give up the priesthood. After learning that Constantinople doesn’t intend to expand its structure and after the people asked him not to leave the priesthood, he “realized there’s no reason to delay any longer.”
“All the same, there will be one local Orthodox Church in Ukraine. And our procrastination makes us collaborators of Russia. I want you and me to be Orthodox Christians who praise God, love their state, and pray for it,” Fr. Job said.
The priest, who was ordained after the so-called “unification council” in 2018, claims that he was intimidated and blackmailed for wanting to leave the canonical Church. He also says he doesn’t understand why other Ukrainian clergy aren’t willing to say that calling Patriarch Bartholomew and the OCU schismatic is hypocrisy.
His Eminence Metropolitan Philaret, the canonical hierarch of Lvov, is among those who has ceased commemorating His Holiness Patriarch Kirill in the Divine services.