The repercussions of the dispute between the Ukrainian authorities and the head of the Kiev Church continue, after accusing him of working for Russia.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Culture decided not to extend the lease of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, due to its association with the Moscow Church, and its priests’ association with the Russian security services, according to its statement.
“a threat to national security”
Kiev saw this as a threat to national security.
On the other hand, the Church rejected and resisted the authorities’ decision, and even attacked the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky.
The representative of the Pecherskaya Lavra Church, Archbishop Pavel, vowed heavenly punishment to the Ukrainian president for expelling the monks from the church.
The vicegerent of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra personally commented on what is happening on the territory of the Lavra, in particular, the ongoing persecution of both the Orthodox and the monastery itself for many days. https://t.co/Jv7eoMcxis pic.twitter.com/U2J7qctcFC
– Victor vicktop55 (@vicktop55) April 1, 2023
This came in a video message posted by the bishop on the “Lavra” channel on YouTube, in which he said: “Mr. President! I tell you and your entourage that our tears will not fall on the ground, but on your head. Do you think you can climb power on our backs? The Lord will not forgive you or your family.” !”.
Bishop Zelinsky described the guilt of what is happening as falling directly on him, and that he had thrown 220 monks out into the street.
However, the Ukrainian president has another opinion, as Zelensky described the situation around the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and what is happening in the “Pecherskaya Lavra” as protection for society from manipulators of religion in Moscow, he said.
It is noteworthy that the Directorate of the Pecherskaya Lavra Reserve in Kiev had announced the termination of the indefinite lease agreement with the Uspensky Church in the reserve.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (archive from Reuters)
While Bishop Pavel described these actions as illegal and declared refusal to leave the monastery.
On Wednesday morning, the reserve administration notified the clergy and monks that they had to leave the monastery before 23:59, and appointed Archimandrite Avramy of Lithuania, who belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which split from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, as a representative of the new church.
It is noteworthy that the Ukrainian authorities are constantly organizing campaigns against all major Orthodox shrines in Ukraine, due to accusations and allegations of its relations with Russia.