UOC Synod: The situation around Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra is a shame and iniquity
The Synod stressed that believers of the UOC are prohibited from revering their shrines, “while pilgrimages of other faiths are provided with administrative resources.”
On September 25, 2023, the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church referred to the situation surrounding the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra as a shame and lawlessness.
In the statement of the Holy Synod of the UOC, they believe that "the situation surrounding the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, entirely created by the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine," is a shame that has "shocked Christians from different parts of the world."
"Believers are not allowed into the territory of the Lower Lavra to pray at the incorrupt and miraculous relics of the Pechersk monastic fathers. Presently, not only Kyivans but also pilgrims from other cities and countries, for whom it is a must to visit the Lavra for prayer in these hard times and who try to do it, cannot access the shrine," the document states.
The Synod emphasized that "a situation has arisen in which only Orthodox Christians are limited in their right to perform prayer worship at universally revered shrines, while pilgrimages of representatives of other denominations and religions are facilitated by administrative resources."
UOC hierarchs noted that "believing people will never agree with the demeaning attitude toward relics as 'museum exhibits,' as they have been repeatedly referred to by government officials."
"The actions of representatives of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine on the territory of the Lower Lavra strike with legal and moral lawlessness the monks of the Lavra, students and teachers of the Kyiv Theological Schools, as well as believers and pilgrims," the Synod members are convinced.
In this situation, the UOC Synod placed all hope in God, "who, ever since the times of Venerable Anthony of the Kyiv Caves, the founder of the Lavra, has more than once and in a miraculous way restrained the plans of oppressors of the monastery and protected its inhabitants."
Earlier, the UOJ wrote that the Synod called on believers to follow the words of Christ in church conflicts.