OCU and the UGCC argue over who should get Pochaiv Lavra

26 January 10:52
The Pochaiv Lavra. Photo: news.church.ua The Pochaiv Lavra. Photo: news.church.ua

Supporters of the UGCC and the OCU are arguing over the Pochaiv Lavra, whose lease expires in 2052.

Representatives of the UGCC and the OCU are trying to figure out which of them is more worthy to serve in the Pochaiv Lavra, reports suspilne.media.

"Priest" of the UGCC Vitaly Kozak speaks of the superiority of the Uniates, citing as an argument the historical facts that the heyday of the monastery is in the period when it was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

"We do not make a claim, let us say a property claim. But we must also clearly state that we cannot deny our historical heritage. That is, we cannot say today that we have never been there. And actually, the most that we are appealing to is this memory, this place is also sacred for us. And therefore, obviously, we would like to have access," says Kozak.

OCU cleric Mykola Zinkevych disagrees with him. He believes that the centre of the monastery is the shrine, in this case, the Pochaiv icon of the Mother of God, which was given to the Orthodox, and this, according to Zinkevych's idea, gives Dumenko's supporters an undeniable advantage in owning the Lavra.

Deputy Culture Minister Kateryna Chuyeva said that experts are studying the possibility of terminating the long-term lease of the Lavra by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

"This is quite a complicated situation, as such contracts require a comprehensive study by lawyers as to their terms and conditions, the possible violation of these terms and, accordingly, the grounds for termination or revision or amendment. Since there is such a decision of the regional council session, of course, it is not left without consideration. Governmental authorities must consider it, so in any case, there will be a detailed study of the conditions and all the related documents relating to this free use, "- said the official.

As reported, Dumenko promised that after securing a foothold in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, he will take over Pochaiv Lavra.

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