Ukraine is awaiting a government decision on a request from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (PCU) to relocate part of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, which is currently monopolized by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate). The PCU’s request to the government provoked a strong reaction from the UOC (MP), but according to theologians, the very fact of the UOC (MP) monopoly presence in the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra in the eyes of many believers makes this church ” right.” The UOC (MP) itself has faced many problems today because of its ties to the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), whose leadership actually supports Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
“Given the special significance of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra as a sanctuary of national and global importance,” the PCU chief asked. Metropolitan Epiphanius to submit a request to the government with a request for the transfer of one of the temples of Ano Lavra and some of its facilities for the establishment of a monastery of PCU.
The PCU Synod also contains a provision for the establishment of a religious organization “Holy Detition Kiev-Pechersk Lavra (male monastery)” approved its statute and its direct affiliation to Metropolitan Epiphanius as Holy Archimandrite (abbot).
So we are talking about the creation of a male monastery of the PCU – it will, of course, be a neighbor of the Lavra with the monastery of the UOC (Moscow Patriarchate), which occupies the Lower Lavra, and the new monastery will be located in the Upper Lavra – at least in part.
The decision of the PCU Summit provoked acute UOC (Moscow Patriarchate). A comment from the UOC Legal Department (MP) described the decision of the UOC Synod as an “aggressive policy of ecclesiastical looting”.
The commentary mentions the “doubling” of the name of the monastery UOC (MP), “which currently operates in the Kiev-Pethersk Lavra.”
“This decision confirms the aggressive policy of looting of churches at the level of the Holy Synod of the PCU, which was introduced at the beginning of the Russian military offensive against Ukraine, which consists in the illegal occupation of churches and religious organizations belonging to Ukraine. “Orthodox Church”, wrote the lawyers of UOC.
The UOC (MP) also believes that the creation of the monastery is a “potential threat of religious hatred”.
“Some statements by the representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate, in my opinion, have signs of incitement to hatred for religious reasons … The UOC (MP) has been playing the role of a persecuted church for many years. And any event that seems like an excuse for such a statement – the UOC (MP) will seize this opportunity. This is a kind of “temnik” of Moscow, which this church works very well – and not only in Ukraine, but in all international forums and meetings. They constantly claim that they are “oppressed” and “persecuted”. “And this is another such statement on this issue,” the church historian told Radio Svoboda. Anatoly Babinski.
Thus, the Lower Lavra is on long-term lease and is used by the UOC (MP). The last time the lease was quickly extended during the regional prime ministership Mykola Azarov in 2013 – before the Revolution of Dignity.
The state remains the absolute manager and owner of all buildings in Ano Lavra
But now there are no problems with the transfer of the Upper Lavra of the PCU, as it is state-owned (like the Lower, by the way) and is cared for by the Kiev-Pethersk National Lavra Reserve, where in 1988 he became the then Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine Filaretos who is currently the Honorary Patriarch of the PCU.
“The state remains the absolute administrator and owner of all the buildings in Ano Lavra … Consequently, from a legal point of view, there are absolutely no obstacles for the state to finally decide and implement this decision,” said one of the leading religious figures. Ukrainian scholars. Andriy Yurash.
Specifically, according to Yurash, the PCU could be ported.
It is “purely geographical” as if it is outside the Lavra, but it is part of the Lavra refuge and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “It (the Church of the Savior in Berestov) is close by, but it is not immediately integrated, and this can be done without any problems or doubts,” says Andriy Yurash about moving this church to the new PCU convent. .
The Church of the Savior in Berestov is a very historic church, founded in Russian times in the 11th-12th centuries and during the reign of Metropolitan Peter the Great in the mid-17th century part of the church was rebuilt in the Cossack Baroque style. Inside the church are preserved paintings of the 17th century, as well as fragments of frescoes of the 12th century.
“You know, everything is important in the Lavra. It would even be difficult to single out one church or another. Because, in my opinion, the Church of the Gate is a very large sanctuary, and the Savior in Brest, of course, – says Babynsky. – I think that negotiations are underway and the search for various compromises that can be transferred. And if the door is opened for the PCU presence there in the Upper Lavra – it will be a big event for this church. “If it succeeds, if the state goes to a PCU meeting, it will really change the monopoly position of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Lavra,” Babinsky, Ph.D., said in an interview.
If the state goes to a PCU meeting – it will really change the monopoly position of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Lavra
According to Andriy Yurash, the new Lavra monastery could include Ano Lavra objects, which are not used for religious purposes and “can not create conflict situations during transport”.
We are talking about the church of the Gate of the Trinity which is located at the main entrance from Lavras Street or Panagia Pyli to the Economic Gate.
“The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Upper Lavra was restored at public expense. “It is in state use and the state can determine the order of use of these temple buildings,” Yurash said.
The Dormition Cathedral was blown up by the NKVD during World War II and rebuilt following a 1995 decree issued by then-President Leonid Kuchma. The cathedral was consecrated on Ukraine’s Independence Day in 2000.
“The whole Kiev-Pechersk Lavra is in the hands of the state. The Lower Lavra is also part of the National Reserve. This sanctuary belongs to the people of Ukraine, not to the Moscow Patriarchate. And the UOC (MP) has no reinforced concrete monopoly in the Lavra. “According to the PCU Summit, they do not even claim the entire Upper Lavra, but only want to take part in the sites – most likely a church or several churches,” Anatoly Babynsky told Radio Liberty.
In his opinion, the Cathedral of the Assumption itself is unlikely to be transferred to the PCU – even in alternative use with the UOC (MP), “because it is too large and could be a point of conflict with the Moscow Patriarchate.” , although it is located in Ano Lavra.
But why is the presence in the Kiev-Pethersk Lavra so important for the churches? The answer is very simple: it is one of the oldest monasteries, founded by Yaroslav the Wise in 1051. From the Lavra and its caves began monasticism in the ancient Ukrainian lands.
Kiev-Pechersk Lavra – this is actually the central Ukrainian sanctuary, which became the mother monastery, from which the monks were scattered throughout Ukraine
“The Kiev-Pechersk Lavra is in fact the central Ukrainian sanctuary, which is important not only for the Orthodox but also for the Greek Catholics, because it has become a kind of mother monastery, from which the monks were scattered almost all over Ukraine and monasteries have this longevity. from the Kiev-Pethersk Lavra. “It is impossible to overstate the importance of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra for Ukrainian Christianity,” said Church historian Anatoly Babinsky in an interview.
“Of course, this moment – that is, the fact that the sanctuary belongs to the UOC (Moscow Patriarchate) – in the eyes of many Orthodox believers puts this church at the center of Ukrainian Orthodoxy. Like, because they have this sanctuary in their hands, it makes this church, say, “right.” “People think very primitively,” adds Babynsky.
The war, which has been going on for more than three months, has and will have a serious impact on the religious life of Ukraine, because the largest Orthodox Church, the UOC-MP, has ties to Moscow and honors the memory of Patriarch Kirill, who supports really the war that Russia attacked someone.
During the three months of hostilities and bombings, which targeted both Orthodox churches and monasteries (mostly, by the way, the UOC (MP)), many priests of that church stopped mentioning the name of Patriarch ROC Cyril, and even demanded ecclesiastical trial over the Russian patriarch, who spreads the ideology of the “Russian world”, which even some priests call “heresy”.
About half a thousand UOC (MP) parishes joined the PCU in three months of the war and the transition process continues. Some territorial communities are banning the activities of the Moscow Patriarchate on their territory due to the ROC’s support of Russian aggression against Ukraine.
“If you communicate with people at the lowest level, not at the hierarchy level, which we usually hear louder and louder, changes occur and this pressure from below will affect the hierarchy over time, although it is not as fast as it would be. we did. like. At the bottom, people are really disoriented because this war shocked them. “Now the UOC (MP) wants to escape in such a way that many local priests say that our metropolitan – Onoufrios and our patriarch – is not Cyril,” PhD Anatoliy Babynsky said in an interview.
He added: “But it must not be ruled out that among the diocese (UOC (MP)) there are people who are completely pro-Russian and will support the ‘Russian world’ with their hands and feet, despite the fact that bombs are falling here and despite the fact that their herd does not understand their position. You know, for decades they have been convincing their people that the Church of Christ is equal to the Moscow Patriarchate. “And now it’s very difficult to convince people that this is not the case.”
source: radio svoboda