Spotsylvania, Virginia, March 29, 2023
All the monks of St. Demerios of Thesssaloniki Monastery in Virginia are praying for the suffering Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Kiev Caves Lavra, His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen), abbot of the monastery, said in a recent video address:
The Metropolitan said:
We would like to express our support, respect, and love for His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and the holy brotherhood of the Monastery of the Caves, which is at the cradle of the Orthodox faith in Kievan Rus’. The monks of our brotherhood make before you a deep bow, a poklon, and from the depths of our hearts we assure you of our prayers, our support, and concern in the difficult situation you must navigate at this time. Christ is Risen, and with this sure knowledge we dare to hope that you may be confirmed in your historic residence. We pray that the authorities will permit you to enjoy religious freedom and to continue your age-old way of life in your monastery. We wish you all joy and all peace in this Pascha with great hope that you’ll be left in the place of refuge which God has chosen for your repentance. May God bless you.
He also spoke of the Kiev Caves Lavra in his homily on the Sunday of the Cross. We must live by the Cross, not by lies, and therefore reject the tyranny that comes from the lust for power, he preached.
Unfortunately, what is happening in Ukraine is an example of just such lust for power and tyranny, he said:
We see the wars and rumors of the wars and the tyranny, which comes from the lust for power, being used to torment and oppress people.
Think of what’s going on in Ukraine. The monks of the Kiev Caves Lavra being thrown out of this holy monastery, which they have continuously occupied for over 1,000 years. How the government and its agencies got a hold of one of the churches, the biggest of the churches of the Lavra and held a rock concert in it to celebrate their victory over Orthodoxy and over Jesus Christ.
Your tax dollars at work.
So, brothers and sisters, let us not live by lies.