Persecuted abbot of Kiev Caves Lavra undergoes emergency heart surgery

Kiev, August 14, 2023     

His Eminence Metropolitan Pavel of Vyshgorod and Chernobyl, the persecuted abbot of the Holy Dormition-Kiev Caves Lavra, underwent emergency surgery today.

Vladyka Pavel was “hospitalized in the cardiology department of a hospital in Kiev due to a sharp deterioration in his health,” reports the Information-Education Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The Metropolitan underwent surgery on his heart vessels and is currently under doctor supervision at the hospital.

As the abbot of the famous Kiev Caves Lavra, Met. Pavel has become a prime target for the Ukrainian authorities, who have accused him of “inciting religious enmity” and “justifying Russian aggression,” as it has several other hierarchs. However, as with the other hierarchs, the state has provided no proof of these accusations.

Nevertheless, Met. Pavel has been held under house arrest or in a pre-trial detention center since April. Though he was recently released from detention on a wildly exorbitant $900,000+ bail, he is still being held under house arrest. The measure against him was just extended on Friday for another two months.

The Metropolitan’s supporters have repeatedly called for mercy, noting his poor health, but the authorities have ignored their pleas.

Another UOC hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Jonathan of Tulchin, also had to undergo heart surgery in November, amidst the state persecution against him. Earlier this month, he was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment with the confiscation of his property.

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