A few hours ago, the highest hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) arrived at the Office of the President of Ukraine.
This was reported by the press service of the church on its Facebook page.
Members of the UOC Synod headed by its head, Metropolitan Onufriy, gathered at Bankova.
They "arrived at the Office of the President of Ukraine with the aim of conveying the position of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to the state leadership."
The hierarchs of the UOC, who gathered near the President's Office, noted that they are asking for a personal meeting with Volodymyr Zelenskyі.
"Members of the Synod wrote an appeal to President Volodymyr Zelenskyi and want to personally explain to him the situation as it really is. This appeal is very important for the holy Synod of the UOC and further actions of the Synod depend on how adequately the state leadership will react to the position of a million believers of the UOC" " , - said the head of the Synodal Information and Educational Department, Bishop Kliment.
After some time, an employee of the Office of the President came to the representatives of the UOC Synod, who came to Bankova to see Zelensky, and said that he was ready to accept their appeal.
But members of the Synod said that they want to meet the president personally and deliver the appeal to him personally. The VP employee stated that he would report this information to management.
It should be noted that a meeting of the Synod took place today, which discussed the issue of evicting monks from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.
The Ministry of Culture requires them to leave the monastery by March 29 or join the OCU.
"The main issue that the Synod will consider will be related to the situation around the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. It is related not only to the legal and canonical analysis of what is happening, but also to the huge resonance among the believing citizens of Ukraine, who perceive the government's statements as a gross violation of their fundamental rights and an insult to the feelings of believers, carried out by the state," the head of the Synodal Information and Educational Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church previously stated.
sometimes some mass media report that residents of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra began to take their personal belongings out of it because they are afraid of the aggressive actions of radicals, Metropolitan Klyment, the head of the information and educational department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, told reporters on Monday.
of the monastery called on believers to come to the protection of the monastery. The vicar of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Metropolitan Pavlo (Swan) of Vyshgorod and Chornobyl reported this in his address under the title "I call everyone to patience and prayer" on the "Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra" channel on YouTube.
Currently, the "standing" of the members of the UOC Synod, which arrived at the president's office after the morning meeting to convey its position to the head of state, continues.
We will remind that the Lavra belongs to the state. The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine is responsible for the facility. Since 2013, 79 buildings of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra have been used free of charge by the UOC MP men's monastery by order of the Cabinet of Ministers.
The UOC MP is a part of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), which officially has the status of a "self-governing church with the rights of wide autonomy." At the cathedral on May 27, 2022, the UOC MP declared its independence (made changes to the charter) and expressed disagreement with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Kirill, who supported the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, but did not condemn it.
The OCU believes that the change in the charter is "an attempt to hide the fact that the UOC remains under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate."
In a warning letter to the monastery, published on March 10, 2023 on the website of the Lavra, the management of the reserve announced that as of March 29, it was terminating the agreement with the Holy Dormition Monastery of the UOC MP on the free use of buildings located on the territory of the national reserve "Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra" .
The warning concerns the buildings of the lower Lavra, where the men's monastery is located. In the upper Lavra, the UOC MP used the Dormition Cathedral and the Tabernacle Church, but the contract for their lease expired on December 31, 2022 and was not renewed. These two temples were returned to state management on January 5.
In response, the press service of the UOC MP called the warning received from the reserve "another ultimatum." "The only reason for evicting monks from the Orthodox shrine is the whim of officials from the Ministry of Culture, just as it was during the Soviet regime in the 60s of the last century," the UOC MP said in a statement.
Earlier, the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), Metropolitan Epiphany, appealed to the clergy of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra to cleanse themselves of the "Russian world". The appeal was published on March 18 on the OCU website.
"For a long time, both our church, the Ukrainian state, and society tried to induce the leadership of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine to finally stop subordination to the Russian center, which is completely under the control of the Kremlin administration and is used as an instrument of hybrid aggression against Ukraine. saw an attempt to mislead the state and society by declaring separation from the Moscow Patriarchate while de facto maintaining subordination to it," he said.
Epiphany also noted in his address that there is no question of closing the monastery in the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, and the language of services will be Old Slavic and Ukrainian.