Hegumen of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra: Phanar has no right to divide Ukrainians

Metropolitan Pavel (Lebed) of Vyshgorod and Chernobyl. Photo: a video screenshot from lavra.ua

The OCU has churches and monasteries for worship, the abbot of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra reminds, commenting on the petition to take away the monastery from the UOC.

The Patriarchate of Constantinople, represented in Ukraine by the OCU, has no right to divide the Ukrainian society and take away other people's shrines. The hegumen of the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Metropolitan Pavel (Lebed) of Vyshgorod and Chernobyl said in a video message posted on the monastery’s website on May 30, 2020.

Commenting on the situation with the petition addressed to the President of Ukraine, in which supporters of the OCU demand that the Holy Caves Monastery be taken away from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the hierarch advised the authorities "not to take into account such vile moments that divide society."

“We have nothing against the Istanbul Patriarchate, which today in Ukraine is called the OCU,” he said. “You’ve got your independence, got what you wanted. But you are not free and begin to make discord among people."

According to Met. Pavel, today "there is freedom for every person", and "if you go to the OCU, you can pray".

“You have the opportunity to pray in the Golden-domed Monastery, which no one goes to – I sent people there to have a look. I sent people to St. Theodosius’, attended by five to ten people, to the Vydubychi Monastery – I don’t know if there is a restaurant there now that was before. And no one tells you how to preserve the culture: there is a kitchen in the altar, tables in the temple, music plays, the waiters in the form of monks are blasphemy. But we have nothing against them and do not pay attention to them. There is a temple in Podil that sells all kinds of books, even a book signed to some person by Metropolitan Vladimir of Kyiv and all Ukraine, – do you really have exhaustion of your mind and wallets, that you are selling books nearby how to treat the prostate, how to fight, to do magic – is this the level of the spiritual life of the Church?...” wondered the metropolitan.

He also recalled that the Ukrainians created a parallel petition – on the preservation of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in the UOC, and "if these petitions are examined by the Cabinet of Ministers, the President – are we not citizens of our country?"

“We have nothing to do with Patriarch Bartholomew – this is his right to get weird and do what he considers necessary, but he does not have the right to divide the society, to take away the shrines of other people. Let them sort out in their potter’s what they should do and how to preserve their people, and not subordinate me to someone that I don’t want and that I don’t consider saving for my life. You can’t think that independence or the so-called autocephaly is permissiveness. We are autocephalous because we have the grace of God and are not dependent on either Moscow or Istanbul <...> And you want to subordinate us to someone today? Trample the history? " said the abbot of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.

As reported, the hegumen of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra refuted the fake circulated in the Ukrainian media on taking away relics from the monastery.

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