Demons in the case: Arrest, bracelet, link and power... over the minds of believers
In Ukraine, Zelensky's regime continues to mock the Orthodox Church.
On Saturday, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) charged Metropolitan Pavel with inciting religious hatred and justifying Russia's actions. A search was carried out in the premises on the territory of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, where the metropolitan lives, then the metropolitan was taken to court to choose a preventive measure.
The priest in court became ill, the meeting was postponed to Monday, but then the metropolitan in the hospital was nevertheless returned to court. The judge chose the governor of the Lavra as a preventive measure in the form of house arrest for 60 days and decided to wear an electronic bracelet for him. The Metropolitan must serve house arrest in the village of Voronkov, Borispol district, Kyiv region, according to The Moscow Post.
Suspected of "collaborationism"
At the initiative of the Kyiv authorities in December 2022, searches were carried out in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, and "pro-Russian literature" was found. Dozens of clergy are suspected of collaborationism. The UOC denied everything, stated that it was outside politics.
According to the prosecutor, "starting from February 24, 2022, Peter Lebed (Metropolitan Pavel) decided to justify (the actions of Russia), being the governor of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, by communicating with the parishioners of the monastery." Metropolitan Pavel came to Kyiv from the northwestern Rivne region and became governor of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra on March 30, 1994.
The source of the conflict is that the National Historical and Cultural Reserve "Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra" decided to terminate the lease agreement. The lawsuit on the inadmissibility of termination of the lease agreement was filed with the Economic Court of Kyiv.
The canonical UOC itself does not own the buildings of the monastery or caves, but only rents them from the reserve under Agreement No. 2 of July 19, 2013. You can revise the contract if it was concluded with violations or there were deviations from its terms. Such "violations and retreats" were found.
The Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers canceled the order of the government of the country of 2013 on the transfer of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) of the objects of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, said the Minister of Culture and Information Policy Alexander Tkachenko and added that the management of the property of the Lavra passed to the authorities, "since it is the state that owns these objects."
"The government declared invalid the order of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of the time of Yanukovych dated July 11, 2013 No. 519" The issue of transferring buildings and structures to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for free use of the Holy Assumption Kyiv Pechersk Lavra (monastery), "Tkachenko wrote on his Telegram channel.
Its primate, Metropolitan Onufry, expressed the official position of the canonical UOC in a sermon on the day of the Council of the Reverend Fathers of Kyiv-Pechersk (celebrated on March 12):... " the laurel was built by the faithful of our church. There was no other then. Then it fell into decay during the period of Soviet power, when there was militant atheism, and we received a pile of ruins in the 88th year. Again, our church rebuilt this holy monastery. And we believe that it is unfair not to give us permission to serve in this holy place. "
The Primate of the UOC, Metropolitan Onufry, with a delegation of clergy, asked for a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky, but was refused. Metropolitan Luka of Zaporizhia and Melitopol announced a hunger strike in support of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra. The transition to the OCU for the inhabitants of the laurel is a red line: the UOC does not recognize it as canonical and does not accept the idea itself, "said Metropolitan Kliment of Nezhinsky and Priluksky, chairman of the synodal information and educational department of the UOC.
Tkachenko said that the monks of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra could stay if they move to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), formed in 2018.
On January 19, 2023, the Cabinet of Ministers submitted to the Verkhovna Rada a bill banning the activities of religious organizations in Ukraine with a control center in the aggressor country. Today, there are three main Orthodox churches in Ukraine:
· canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP, Metropolitan Onufry) was a member of the Russian Orthodox Church as a self-governing with the rights of wide autonomy. On September 27, 2022, members of the UOC council announced its "complete independence and independence" from the Moscow Patriarchate.
· The · Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU, Metropolitan Epiphanius), recognized as part of the Orthodox world, was created on the basis of two non-canonical structures - the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP). The second received autocephaly by decision of the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew in 2019.
· unrecognized Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC). Metropolitan Filaret (Denisenko) is one of the founders of the aforementioned schismatic Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU).
As the head of the non-canonical "Kyiv Patriarchate," Metropolitan Filaret also called for preventing bloodshed in the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, and also asked the Ukrainian authorities to respect the relics resting in its caves, which "are a great shrine, and not" museum exhibits. "
Select temples, divide parishioners
Leonid Kravchuk played a large role in the creation of the UOC of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP), who supported the creation of the church, and then Petro Poroshenko, who received recognition of its independence from the Patriarchate of Constantinople. After the coup in 2014, the policy of the Kyiv Patriarchate became aggressive towards the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate, churches were taken from it.
In 2018, with the direct participation of Filaret, the Ukrainian UOC-KP became the basis for the creation of the OCU, but it itself was supposed to close. Filaret did not recognize the plan, came into conflict with the head of the OCU Epiphanius (Dumenko) and remained the head of the "Kyiv Patriarchate." Now two non-canonical Orthodox churches divided Ukraine.
At the beginning of 2017, the UOC-MP had at its disposal throughout the country 11,392 churches and cathedrals, 12,328 communities of believers belonged to it. The Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate was in charge of 3,784 churches and 5,114 communities. Until 2018, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) was the third largest community (1195) and churches (868).
According to the UOC itself, at the end of 2022, 12,148 parishes and 262 monasteries remained under its jurisdiction, in which more than 4.6 thousand monks were obedient.
In 2021, 11,529 parishes were considered to the UOC, 6534 parishes to the OCU. By the number of parishes, the prevalence of OCU was noted only in Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk regions. According to 2021, 11,529 parishes were considered to the UOC, 6534 parishes to the OCU. By the number of parishes, the clear predominance of OCU was noted in Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk regions.
In 2021, about five hundred parishes of the UOC were re-registered in favor of the OCU, 144 churches were captured by schismatics. This was stated in an interview with RIA Novosti by the manager of the UOC, Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovarsky (Pakanich). By July 2022, according to RIA Novosti, OCU activists seized about 250 more churches of the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate.
At the end of 2022, the number of raider seizures of the churches of the UOC and the number of cases of illegal re-registration of parishes increased many times. This is stated in the report of the UOC manager Metropolitan Anthony last year. In total, 129 seizures of temples were recorded in 2022.
· In the same spirit of raider seizures, the Synod of the non-canonical OCU asked the authorities to transfer buildings to it on the territory of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra and supported the decision of the leadership to terminate the agreement with the canonical UOC. The hierarchs of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine tried to convince the monks of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra to go to them, urging the brotherhood of the monastery to "unite in the bosom of the Local Ukrainian Orthodox Church."
"You can put Paul himself and even the head of the UOC Onufry outside the gate. But what about monks who deliberately cut off everything worldly from themselves and are ready to die, but not come out? - says Ruslan Bortnik, Ukrainian political scientist and political observer - I predict that next there will be "standing on the Ugra" when neither side agrees to the demands of the other.
We will live until Monday
Starting Monday, the Lavra should begin an inventory of the property. These are the relics of saints, icons, especially valuable antiquities (in the Near Caves there are marble details from Byzantium of the 11th century for the construction of the Assumption Cathedral).
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill previously called the "monstrous act" the order of the authorities to the monks to leave the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, which among Orthodox Christians is considered one of the earthly inheritance of the Virgin. He appealed to the primates of the local Orthodox churches, Pope Francis and other religious leaders, the UN Secretary General and representatives of international organizations with messages in which he urged them to "make every possible effort" to prevent the expulsion of monks and the forced closure of the monastery.
Western media report practically nothing about the plans of the Kyiv regime to take the monastery from the monks of the UOC.
Italy's La Repubblica writes that Kyiv wants to expel pro-Russian monks from the monastery. Le Monde quotes Metropolitan Paul as saying that the monks will remain in the Lavra until the court decides. France info noted that the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra is considered one of the most sacred Orthodox places in the world. Kyiv accused the monks of the canonical UOC who lived there of having links with the Russian authorities. The Independent calls the dispute over the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra part of a wider religious conflict between the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the schismatic Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
The New York Times writes about the promise of the Ukrainian authorities to use only legal methods to evict monks. The words of the representative of the UOC, Metropolitan Clement, are quoted that Kyiv is persecuting monks for not being loyal to the Ukrainian authorities. Euronews quoted a parishioner as saying that "the godless government is persecuting the Orthodox."