UOC-MP Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monks reject crossing over to the OCU

30 March, 12:23 AM
The Great Bell Tower of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Monastery, January 6, 23 (Photo:REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko)

The Great Bell Tower of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Monastery, January 6, 23 (Photo:REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko)

Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) monks at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery are "categorically against" transitioning to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), UOC-MP Synod’s spokesman, Metropolitan Kliment, said in a comment to NV on March 29.

"I am categorically against such statements, regarding the fact that someone should transfer (to the OCU)," said Kliment.

On March 29, the primate of the OCU, Metropolitan Epiphanius, blessed Archimandrite Avraamy (Lotysh), who had previously been a representative of the UOC-MP, to act as the vicar of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra on behalf of the OCU. He then addressed the Lavra monks, urging them to remain at the monastery under its new OCU auspices.

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UOC-MP responded by banning the archimandrite from performing religious services “for deviation into schism and gross violation of the oath.”

The Synod of the OCU also called on the monks to "unite in the bosom of the local Ukrainian Orthodox Church on a canonical basis."

On March 10, Ukraine’s Culture Ministry announced that UOC-MP must leave the premises it leases at Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra by March 29. In response, UOC-MP called this demand an “ultimatum from officials of the Ministry of Culture,” adding that such demands have no legal basis.

On Feb. 1, the State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience concluded that UOC-MP remains a structural subdivision of the Russian Orthodox Church, despite the church claiming it has “complete independence” from Moscow.

In 2022, Ukraine’s SBU security service began investigating UOC-MP monasteries throughout Ukraine, finding that many of them preach pro-Russian, anti-Ukrainian propaganda to their parishioners.

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