Church in Montenegro: Lavra's expulsion is a violation of all international norms

30 March 16:02
Metropolitan Joanikije. Photo: tatmitropolia Metropolitan Joanikije. Photo: tatmitropolia

Metropolitan Joanikije noted that the international community is upset by what is happening these days in Ukraine regarding the UOC.

On March 27, 2023, the Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral stated that the expulsion of monks from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra is a violation of all international norms, reports the UOC DECR website.

Metropolitan Joanikije sent a letter to the head of the UOC, Metropolitan of Boryspil and Brovary, in which he expressed his support for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The head of the Montenegrin-Littoral Metropolis said that he was grieving over the latest events in Ukraine. “The intentions to evict the brethren from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, as well as from other shrines of the UOC that we hear about these days, seem simply incredible and so absurd that it’s hard to believe that this can even be discussed,” wrote Metropolitan Joanikije.

Vladyka also noted that "the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra with its shrines is the best symbol of solidarity and consent of the Church, society and people, and not a stumbling block and disagreement".

“We see that you personally, like the entire UOC, are doing everything to ensure that this is exactly the case, helping in word, deed, prayer, but, unfortunately, the other side, the authorities, is acting exactly the opposite, with various false accusations they are trying to overshadow all the good and benefit that the Church brings to its flock,” the bishop noted.

According to him, "this false propaganda does not get the desired result, which is confirmed by thousands of believers who gather and pray these days for the preservation of shrines."

Metropolitan Joanikije outlined the attitude of the international community to these events: “This is actually a gross violation of international acts and norms on freedom of conscience and religion. We see how that part of the international community, which is heterodox or even non-believing, is upset by what is happening in Ukraine these days.”

“To people living in the twenty-first century, it seems incredible that someone is going to evict hundreds of monks from the monastery to the street,” he stressed.

Metropolitan Joanikije also wrote that the clergy and believers of Montenegro "pray and worry for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its Primate, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, the hierarch who has gained great spiritual authority throughout the Christian world".

“These days, the believers of Montenegro will pray that the Lord would enlighten those who are at enmity against His Holy Church and call them to the path of salvation, and save the dear Ukrainian Church from all evil,” resumed the head of the Montenegrin-Littoral Metropolis of the Serbian Church.

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia called on all Churches to condemn the persecution against the UOC.

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