Monday, June 17, 2024

    UOC (MP) claims Lavra eviction to further “provoke” Russians

    The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (in unity with the Moscow Patriarchate) responded to the address by the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epifaniy to the monks of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.

    The relevant statement was released by the UOC-MP Department of External Church Relations.

    “On March 18, 2023, the head of the OCU Epifaniy (Dumenko) appealed to the brethren of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra with the UOC with an appeal to shift to the OCU. In this regard, we consider it necessary to say the following. We recall that the monks of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra responded to similar statements by Epifaniy back on January 27, 2023, declaring that ‘we were, are, and will be in the Truth and faithful to our canonical Church and its Primate – His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy’and that they would not move to the OCU,” the statement reads.

    In addition, the UOC (MP) believes that the eviction of monks from the Lavra provokes the Russians to continue to “protect the Orthodox”, giving them more arguments to justify their aggression against Ukraine.

    “The Russian president’s press secretary, D. Peskov, recently stated, making it clear, that ‘the eviction of the monks from the Lavra justifies the goals of the special operation.’ Therefore, when Epifaniy s declares that ‘the enemy is using this historical event to split Ukrainian unity and sow misunderstandings between us,’ the question arises as to who is actually giving the enemy reasons for this with such decisions and actions,” reads the text published by the UOC (MP).

    It should be recalled that earlier Metropolitan Epifaniy made an offer to the monks of the UOC (MP). He stated that the Lavra should not become a tool of aggression against Ukraine. Epifaniy also called for freedom from the Moscow yoke. He also said that those monks who would move to the OCU would be able to continue serving in the Lavra after the UOC (MP)’s lease deal expires.

    Meanwhile, the UOC (MP) threatens to appeal the decision on their eviction at the European Court of Human Rights if it does not succeed in Ukrainian courts.