Cologne, Germany, March 27, 2023
Another hierarch of the Orthodox Church is raising his voice in protest against the persecution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian state’s plans to evict the monks of the Kiev Caves Lavra.
His Eminence Metropolitan Isaak of Germany and Central Europe of the Antiochian Orthodox Patriarchate issued a statement on March 23 emphasizing the importance of the Lavra and the Church’s central role in rebuilding it after communism.
He also calls on his flock and the hierarchs of all Orthodox Churches to pray for the Church. His statement reads:
Appeal for the decision on the Kiev Caves Monastery
The Antiochian Orthodox Metropolis of Germany and Central Europe is grieved by the decision to close the Kiev Caves Lavra, which is a holy site of the Orthodox Church.
The Caves Monastery was a center of Orthodoxy in the Middle Ages and is still of great importance to Orthodox Christians today. After the collapse of the monastery during the period of militant atheism, it was the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that rebuilt the holy monastery in 1988.
The clergy and monks strive and work hard to maintain the monastery. It’s therefore regrettable that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been deprived of permission to serve in this holy place.
Therefore, I call on all those involved to help ensure that the monks and clergy be allowed to continue their spiritual life in the Caves Lavra.
At the same time, I also ask all my brethren in our Sister Churches to raise their prayers.
Let the lamp of prayer continue to burn in the Kiev Caves Lavra so that the faithful can come there unhindered, participate in the Holy Mysteries of Christ, and venerate the saints of the Caves.
We pray and hope that this decision can be reversed with God’s help and the goodwill of all parties involved.