Pochaiv Lavra abbot denies media allegations that monastery is deserted
Metropolitan Volodymyr (Moroz) commented on the Radio Svoboda newsreel about the Pochaiv Lavra.
The news on the Pochaiv Lavra, which was broadcasted by Radio Liberty, presented untruthful information about the Lavra, the abbot of the monastery, Metropolitan Volodymyr of Pochaiv, said in a commentary to "1Kozaktv".
In particular, the vicar refuted the statement that after the start of the war, the parishioners almost stopped attending the Lavra.
"The authors of Radio Liberty are not telling the truth, that allegedly people, who although they are parishioners of our Orthodox Church, do not go to church, wait or want something else," said the abbot. “They (reporters – Ed.) tried to film the deserted territory – just in those moments when people were either at dinner or in the church and that is how they motivated that people do not go. No, this is not the case. People do go to the temple, thank God!".
The Metropolitan explained that on weekdays more parishioners pray at the midnight vigil and early liturgy, while on Saturday at the all-night vigil and Sunday services, the temples are always full – as evidenced by photos and video footage.
"Parishioners have long figured out, answered their conscience correctly and go to our Church," the bishop added.
He also responded to the journalists' thesis that the legality of the erection of the Transfiguration Cathedral on the territory of the Lavra allegedly needs to be checked.
"There was a need, and God helped to bring to fruition a good idea, which has beautified and complemented the Lavra ensemble. And people are free to stand and pray in the large and spacious temple on big holidays. Was the Transfiguration Cathedral built legally and according to all the requirements? Yes, it was. It was designed by qualified specialists and everything is documented and approved. And our contemporaries should be glad of our success because everything is being done for the glory of God and the glory of our monastery, which beautifies our Ukrainian land. Every true Christian and patriot of his country should rejoice in this, and not slander and envy," said Metropolitan Volodymyr.
He highlighted that soon Pochaiv Lavra will celebrate its 800th anniversary and stressed that the present monks of the monastery are the rightful successors of the monks who founded it.
"We are the legitimate successors. What we have on the Pochaiv Mountain is the monastery's heritage," said the archbishop.
Speaking about the future fate of the monastery, Metropolitan Volodymyr stressed: "As God wills, so it will be! The most important thing is to live rightly, to please God and not to fall away from the legitimate canonical Church of Christ in this tempting, evil time, time of trials. <...> We must know and remember that our Christ's Church is canonical, the grace of the Holy Spirit works in it, our bishops have apostolic succession and priests ordained by them are a legitimate priesthood, and therefore the sacraments are administered, people are renewed, purified, and those who want to be saved have the opportunity to be saved.