Kiev, January 2, 2023
Muslims and Catholics allow the Orthodox access to holy sites and holy relics, but the Ukrainian government prevents its own people from entering their own churches, the abbot of the Kiev Caves Lavra commented on New Year’s Eve before the start of the last service in the monastery’s trapeza church.
Last week the government announced that it would no longer allow the Orthodox Church to use the Dormition Cathedral and the trapeza Church of Sts. Anthony and Theodosius in the upper part of the Lavra, which the state never returned to the Church after the fall of the Soviet Union.
“Today we’re leaving the territory of the Upper Lavra. We’re leaving the churches that we’ve filled with prayer at the behest of wayward lords,” His Eminence Metropolitan Pavel of Vyshgorod and Chernobyl, the abbot of the monastery said. The service was broadcast by the First Cossack channel.
“The Muslims have always allowed us and still allow us to pray at the tomb of St. Nicholas. The Catholics allow us to pray at the tomb of the Holy Apostles, at the relics of St. Nicholas. But our people, who imagine themselves to be the center of the universe, expel us from our own holy sites on our own land,” His Eminence said.
He also called on the people to pay no attention to the provocations organized by the police and the Security Service of Ukraine.
In a special video address published by the Lavra, Met. Pavel called on the faithful to read the Gospel and the Psalter, especially Psalms 65, 90, and 108, with a prayer for those who persecute the Church.
“They can’t defeat Christ. Herod also wanted to defeat Christ, and killed 14,000 babies, but fell dead, eaten by worms. The same thing happened with the Roman Empire, with the Russian and other empires, and the Church is still standing,” Vladyka emphasized.
“We’re leaving. But I believe we’ll come back. But what will happen to those persecutors of the Church who draw the curse of God upon themselves and their children up to the seventh generation?” Met. Pavel asked.