Pochaev, Ternopil Province, Ukraine, February 1, 2023
The Ternopil Provincial Council has created a working group to study the legality of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church using the Holy Dormition-Kiev Caves Lavra.
Like the Lavra in Kiev, the Pochaev Lavra has remained in state hands as a holdover from the Soviet Union, with use of the ancient monastery being leased to the canonical Church for the past 30 years.
“If historical justice is gradually being restored in the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, then many questions arise around the Pochaev Lavra,” says Mikhail Golovko, chairman of the Council.
Thus, on January 27, Golovko gave an order to create a working group to study the legality of the use of the Pochaev Lavra complex.
The same procedure was earlier launched in the Kiev Caves Lavra, which predictably led to the canonical Church being expelled from the Upper Lavra. Authorities say they will also inspect the Lower Lavra, where the monastics live, and where the Caves and the theological schools are located.
Golovko also says at the next Council session, they will initiate an appeal for the immediate transfer of the Lavra complex to the use of the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” which is recognized as schismatic by most Orthodox Churches.
Although the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church is run by Ukrainians and is the largest religious group in Ukraine, giving the monastery to schismatics is crucial to protecting Ukraine from Russia, according to Golovko:
When liberating the country from criminals on the battlefield, we must also take care of liberation from the spiritual yoke.
The first step is to ban the Moscow Church on the territory of Ukraine and return all holy sites illegally owned by Kremlin agents.
Moscow priests should leave all Ukrainian holy sites!
Recall that the Ukrainian Church separated itself from the Moscow Patriarchate in May.