UOC Synod to meet next week to decide how to respond to Lavra situation

Kiev, March 16, 2023

L to R: Metropolitans Kliment, Pavel, and Anthony announce that the Synod will meet on Monday. Photo: strana.ua L to R: Metropolitans Kliment, Pavel, and Anthony announce that the Synod will meet on Monday. Photo: strana.ua     

The Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will gather next week to decide how to respond to the state’s arbitrary decision to expel the Church from the Holy Dormition-Kiev Caves Lavra on March 29.

His Eminence Metropolitan Pavel of Vyshgorod, the abbot of the Lavra, His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil, the Chancellor of the UOC, and His Eminence Metropolitan Kliment of Nezhin, the Chairman of the UOC’s Information-Education Department, held a press conference on the matter yesterday, during which they announced that the Synod will gather on Monday, March 20, reports Strana.

As did Met. Pavel in a recent interview, Met. Anthony expressed the expectation that the faithful will come of their own free will to protect the Lavra:

We don’t know what will happen in the Lavra on March 29, but we know the attitude of our faithful, who will defend their holy sites.

We’re told that people who are hostile to us, people who are fighting at the front, could come here. Among those who are fighting at the front, there are many who are believers of the UOC, and I wouldn’t like the state to bring the situation to that point that here… We continue to believe that our government won’t allow this confrontation.

The hierarchs also emphasized that they haven’t seen the results of the commission that examined the territory of the Lavra and which concluded that the Church has somehow violated the terms of their lease to use the Lavra, which is officially a state-owned museum.

The BBC reported on Tuesday, with reference to the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture, that the results have been declared classified and won’t be shared.

Asked what the monks will do on March 29 if they are evicted, Met. Pavel answered: “We will pray. What can I do against the authorities? We’re people without weapons. We trust in the Lord. As the Lord arranges, so it will be.”

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