Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra monks don't intend to join Orthodox Church of Ukraine - priest
MOSCOW. March 17 (Interfax) - Monks of the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate do not intend to move to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra Father Superior Metropolitan Pavel said.
"There have been many statements from the Orthodox Church of Ukraine that allegedly more than half of the brethren want to move to them. I am in constant touch with them, and we, thank God, did not have a single person. No one agrees to move to this entity," Ukrainian media quoted Metropolitan Pavel as saying in a video message published on the monastery's website.
He also denied allegations that illegal construction took place in the monastery. "This is an obvious deception and a lie about the monks and the Church. We have never in our lives started work unless we had a permission from the Culture Ministry and a permission from the [Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra National] Reserve," Metropolitan Pavel said.
For his part, Metropolitan Anthony said that "information is coming from all over the country that the believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will defend their shrines."
The Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate will meet on March 20 to decide on the situation surrounding the Lavra, he said.
Representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate also said they believe that Ukrainian Culture and Information Policy Minister Alexander Tkachenko's statements are inconsistent and discredit the Church.
On March 10, Ukrainian media reported that the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra National Reserve terminated the rental agreement with the Holy Dormition Monastery of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate starting from March 29, 2023. The monastery's Father Superior Metropolitan Pavel said that the monks of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate are not going leave the Lavra.
Later, according to Ukrainian media, Tkachenko said that there was no question of evicting the monks and that the leadership of the Holy Dormition Monastery and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate itself should be the first to leave the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra. He also said, "The monks always have a choice," meaning the move to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
The Russian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate view the Orthodox Church of Ukraine as a non-canonical organization of dissenters.