Kiev, March 24, 2023
While the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture formally says on the one hand that the monks of the Kiev Caves Lavra must leave their monastery because the Church has violated the terms of the lease for usage of the monastery, on the other hand, state officials openly declare that the real reason for evicting the monks lies elsewhere.
Alexander Tkachenko, the Minister of Culture, has said on air that the monks can stay if they just join the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” which is recognized as schismatic by the majority of the Orthodox world.
And Ludmila Filippovich, a member of the State Service for Ethnic Policy’s commission tasked with dealing with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, recently said that if they don’t want to join the OCU, then the monks can join Constantinople, which also maintains an Exarchate in Ukraine.
And instead of speaking up on behalf of the persecuted monks, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople has made the same offer to the Ukrainian Church, according to Metropolitan Pavel of Vyshgorod, the abbot of the Kiev Caves Lavra.
The UOC need only bow down and submit itself to Constantinople.
Thank God, we have no misunderstanding with the Catholic Church, with the Muslim world. We have only the political ambitions of Patriarch Bartholomew, who has already said that he will make an Exarchate if only Vladyka Onuphry would bow to him: “Bow to me and you’ll have no problems.”
And responding to the repeated calls to join the schismatics, Met. Pavel said: “I want to again testify, having spoken with many of the bishops of our Church, that we’re all against the OCU political party that the state created. We will not join them.”