Kiev, April 4, 2023
The faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church continue their prayer standing at the Kiev Caves Lavra today for the sixth day in a row.
According to state order, the Church, including the monastery, theological schools, and administrative offices, was to completely abandon the monastery by March 29. On March 30, a commission arrived to begin the process of transferring the buildings of the monastery to state usage, but the faithful prevented the members from entering the churches.
Over the next couple of days, many radical and provocateurs showed up at the monastery, shouting pagan and satanic slogans and mocking the Orthodox faithful who calmly prayed. The abbot, His Eminence Metropolitan Pavel of Vyshgorod, was dragged into court on Saturday under trumped-up charges of justifying Russian aggression. He was placed under two months of house arrest for the time being.
And today, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev, the archpastor for all Orthodox Christians in Ukraine, came out to join the faithful today, who have again filled the territory of the monastery. The scene seems to be relatively peaceful so far today.
In comments to the Union of Orthodox Journalists, His Beatitude explained that he came to support those who were supporting and defending the monastery, and to pray in the place of ascetic labor of so many great saints, “who are the adornment not only of Kiev, but of all of Ukraine, of the entire Orthodox world.”
Asked to give a word to those who come to fight against the Church, Met. Onuphry said: “To those who dance, who sing in this place that is watered with tears, blood, the sweat of our ascetics, I wish that they not behave the way they are. Let them remember that they also will stand before God and answer for their lives, for their actions. And don’t blaspheme and defile the holy site with your unworthy behavior. May the Lord help them. May they all repent and be saved.”