UOC hierarch comments on radicals’ call to power to take Lavra from Church

Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) in the Refectory Church of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Photo: Bishop Victor’s Facebook page

Due to the efforts of the hierarchy and brethren, the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra remains Ukraine's spiritual centre, "this is obvious for thinking people", Fr Victor noted.

Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka, Vicar of the Kyiv Metropolis, Head of the Representation of the UOC to European International Organizations, commented on Dmitry Korchinsky's call to the authorities to take away the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

In response to the accusations made in the address of the head of the radical organization “Brotherhood” that “FSB agents” live within the walls of the monastery, “disfiguring” the Ukrainian shrine with buildings for the needs of the brethren, the UOC hierarch recalled that “today monks, who live in the Lavra, apart from aspirations to be citizens of the Heaven, are also citizens of Ukraine”.

“Therefore, all statements like the above should be qualified exclusively within the framework of the current legislation of our state,” Bishop Victor wrote on his Telegram channel. “Because, being absolutely groundless from the point of view of facts and common sense, they are aimed solely at inciting sectarian strife, which is unacceptable either from the point of view of the law or from the point of view of Christianity.”

He stressed that "it is obvious for thinking people that thanks to the efforts of the hierarchy of the UOC and the monastic brethren, the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra continues to be the spiritual centre of our Motherland, and its shrines are in proper condition".

But the most important thing, according to the priest, is that "the Lavra is a place of prayer and spiritual exploits, and not just a museum and a collection of relics".

“Brethren’s buildings built on the territory of the monastery testify that the Lavra lives, that spiritual life does not stand still in it, and that there are always people in the UOC who decide to devote themselves to God,” Bishop Victor of Baryshevka said.

In conclusion, the hierarch of the UOC stated that such statements create unnecessary tension in society.

“We need to strive for peace, not to threats or intimidation. And to fear only one God,” he said.

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that the radical Dmitry Korchinsky called on the authorities to take away the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra from the UOC, "otherwise the Ukrainian people will have to take it".

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