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    Lavra abbot Pavlo travels to Turkey to get instructions from ROC on countering OCU autocephaly

    The notorious abbot of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra Metropolitan Pavlo (Lebid) of the UOC-MP, appears to have traveled to Turkey, through Moldova, to meet with the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church. From his handlers, Pavlo was to receive new instructions for setting up proper resistance to the further development of the Local Autocephalous Church in Ukraine.

    This was reported by Glavcom with reference to sources in Ukrainian law enforcement, who commented on the recent incident at the border with Moldova where customs officers seized a number of icons the metropolitan was allegedly trying to smuggle out of Ukraine.

    According to the security forces, in fact Pavlo used Moldova only as a transit territory, and his trip was not about undergoing a medical exam there, as the cleric claimed during passport control routine.

    The sources do not rule out that after the scandal with the icons at the customs broke out, Metropolitan Pavlo could have undergone “some kind of ultrasound or MRI” in Moldova in order to present the “results of research” upon his return to Ukraine to confirm his initial travel purpose claim. However, the security operatives have confirmed that in fact the abbot’s car drove all the way to Turkey, where the cleric met with the representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, as ordered by a senior UOC-MP clergyman, Metropolitan Antoniy (Pakanych).

    According to sources, the purpose of such meetings was to obtain updated instructions for organizing opposition to the development of an independent church in Ukraine.

    Sources report that Pavlo also booked a vacation at one of the Antalya resorts, where he spent the rest of his time.

    The aforementioned Metropolitan Antoniy (Pakanych), who is considered to be the leader of the pro-Russian wing of the UOC-MP, also early October beyond Ukraine’s borders. Before leaving, he initiated, through the leader of the “Sisterhood” organization, Viktoria Kokhanovska, a rally of UOC-MP believers outside the Kyiv Regional Military Administration on October 9, under the guise of slogans to prevent “raiding of churches.” According to sources, the rally was supported by Viktor Vyshnevetskyi, a supporter of the “Russian world” concept.

    As reported earlier, another hierarch of the Moscow Church in Ukraine, Metropolitan Iosif (Maslennikov) visited Russia during the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The corresponding photos were published by the Spiritual Front of Ukraine. The bishop went to Russia with the blessing of the UOC-MP chief of affairs, Metropolitan Antoniy (Pakanych). It is Antoniy who still maintains contact with the top leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church, with Iosif being one of his confidants, the so-called liaison with Patriarch Kirill. Iosyf (Maslennikov) has also obtained a Russian passport.

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