Ignoring Ukrainian courts, UOC-MP’s Metropolitan Onufriy held Sunday service at Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra
Ignoring Ukrainian courts, UOC-MP’s Metropolitan Onufriy held Sunday service at Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (Photo:UOC-MP)
Onufriy, Metropolitan of Kyiv and the Exarch of Ukraine in Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), held a Sunday service in Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra on April 2 despite the planned eviction of the church from the monastery five days ago.
The UOC-MP press office published a photo report on Telegram.
As expected, the former Abbot of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (the Monastery of the Caves), Pavlo Lebid, didn't attend the service, after a court sent him to house arrest for two months the day before.
UOC-MP Lavra eviction update
The UOC-MP was supposed to vacate its premises at the Kyiv Cave Monastery on March 29, after its 2013 lease agreement was terminated. The Ukrainian government cancelled the decision of the government of Viktor Yanukovych (the former Ukrainian president who is wanted for high treason) to transfer the monastery to the UOC-MP.
UOC-MP priests did not leave the monastery on March 30 and continue to hold services at the site.
They also refused to admit the Culture Ministry's property transfer commission to the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. The National Kyiv-Pechersk Historic-Cultural Preserve has filed a police report.
UOC-MP leadership, led by Lavra Abbot Petro Lebed (Metropolitan Pavlo), accused Ukrainian authorities and the Ministry of Culture of issuing an "ultimatum." They stated that the eviction notice is illegal.
The UOC-MP has challenged the eviction; however, the court did not allow them to remain in the monastery for the duration of the lawsuit.
While refusing to leave the monastery, the UOC-MP is actively taking everything from the church. A priest said in a comment to the media that they plan to take "everything but the relics" from the Lower Lavra.
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