SBU summons UOC-MP Metropolitan Pavlo on suspicion of ‘fueling interreligious hostility’

1 April, 01:49 PM
UOC-MP Metropolitan Pavlo (Photo:REUTERS/Vladyslav Musiienko)

UOC-MP Metropolitan Pavlo (Photo:REUTERS/Vladyslav Musiienko)

Ukraine’s SBU security service has served a notice of suspicion to Metropolitan Pavlo (Lebid), the superior of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate’s press service reported on April 1.

Citing his remarks about the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate in one of his video addresses, Metropolitan Pavlo is accused of fueling interreligious hostility. News website reports that Pavlo was also handed a notice of suspicion of justifying Russia’s armed aggression.

Video of day

A video has surfaced on the Internet where Metropolitan Pavlo says that he was handed the note of suspicion at 7.30 a.m. He said his house was searched and he did not interfere.

“I know what it’s about. They told me in two words that I am suspected of cooperating with Russia and fueling interreligious hostility. They also claim that I cursed the president,” said Pavlo.

The UOC-MP Metropolitan was summoned for questioning at 12.00 p.m., where custody was to be determined.

Metropolitan Pavlo and several representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church have been under sanctions since January.

The UOC-MP was supposed to vacate Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra on March 29 after the State Reserve terminated its 2013 lease agreement. However, as of March 30, UOC-MP priests continued to hold services in the Lavra.

A Ministry of Culture commission has been denied entry to the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra for two straight days, and the reserve filed a complaint with police.

Ukraine’s State Audit Service conducted an audit and found that state-owned cultural heritage sites and 36 constructions within the territory of the Lavra had been illegally transferred to private use.

Representatives of the UOC-MP, led by the Lavra’s abbot, Metropolitan Pavlo, accused Ukrainian authorities and Ministry of Culture officials of issuing an “ultimatum” with demands that they argue have no legal basis. The UOC-MP Synod also stated its intention to “protect” the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra “by all lawful means.”

Despite claims that its representatives do not intend to leave the holy site, the UOC-MP was seen removing property from the Lavra. The Church has also filed a lawsuit against the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra reserve.

We’re bringing the voice of Ukraine to the world. Support us with a one-time donation, or become a Patron!

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google News

Ukraine Today
Fresh daily newsletter covering the top headlines and developments in Ukraine
Daily at 9am EST
Show more news