Those who reject the power of Moscow will continue to serve in the Lavra, – Epiphanius addressed the monks of the UOC-MP
The rector of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epiphanius, wrote down an appeal to the brethren of the Kiev-Pechersk Holy Dormition Lavra and the public. He urged to contribute to the process of liberation of the shrine “from the Moscow yoke.”
The metropolitan also assured that they would be protected from intimidation by the current head of the Lavra. Epiphanius made public his appeal on 18 March.
Metropolitan of the OCU addressed the monks
Epiphanius noted that the closing of the monastery in the Holy Dormition Kiev-Pechersk Lavra has not yet been said.
Comparison of current events with the past persecution of the communist authorities on the Church as a whole and the double closure of the monastery, in particular, is groundless manipulation, the metropolitan explained.
He emphasized that the Moscow spiritual authority in Ukraine is non-canonical, and everyone sees how the Kremlin uses it against the Ukrainian people.
“The Lavra should not be an instrument of struggle against Ukraine, but rather a place of prayer, devout monastic life in the spirit of the fathers and ascetics of the past, a place that will spiritually inspire our fellow citizens in these difficult times,” the WTO rector said.
The metropolitan added that he respects the fathers and brothers who do not share the ideology of the “Russian world” and the distortions that it introduces into church life.
“Opening a monastery as part of the Local Church, our Holy Synod turned to the government with a request to provide premises for monastic life and worship in the Lavra. This request remains relevant, and we will insist that monastic life, the opportunity for daily prayer and worship should be “provided” in a way,” Epiphanius noted.
The rector of the OCU noted that the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine has neither a canonical nor a moral perspective. He hopes that soon the final ban on Moscow from influencing Ukrainian church life will be confirmed by state law.
“As a Holy Archimandrite, I testify to the brethren that all of you who live according to the requirements of the canons and Tomos, will reject the lawless authorities of Moscow, will continue their service in the Lavra. We will use all our capabilities and authority to protect you from intimidation from outside the current head of the Lavra,” the Metropolitan emphasized.
According to him, the current affairs of the monastery will be managed by those who:
- knows the traditions and life of the monastery,
- known to the monks, because he belongs to the brethren,
- has the appropriate abilities and has not stained himself with devotion to the “Russian measure”.
“The ancient Slavic language, together with the modern Ukrainian language, will be the liturgical language of the Lavra – we know that this issue is also important for many of you,” Epiphanius summed up.
The eviction of the monks of the UOC-MP from the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra
- On March 10, the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra National Reserve sent a warning to the Holy Dormition Kiev-Pechersk Lavra (Male Monastery) of the UOC-MP about the termination of the Agreement on the gratuitous use of religious buildings and other property that is state property. The monks of the Russian Church are forced to leave the territory of the Ukrainian shrine.
- Of course, in Russia they could not but comment on such a “disrespectful” attitude towards representatives of the UOC-MP. The Russian Patriarch Kirill decided to protect his “subjects” and called for “saving” the Lavra.
- The world community also reacted to the eviction of the monks. In particular, the Pope made another strange statement. He came to the defense of the monks and called for respect for religious places.