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Civilians on premises of Kyiv Monastery of Caves may be there illegally – Culture Minister

Monday, 3 April 2023, 10:48
Civilians on premises of Kyiv Monastery of Caves may be there illegally – Culture Minister

Oleksandr Tkachenko, Ukraine’s Minister of Culture, has stated that there are civilians on the territory of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra [Kyiv Monastery of Caves – ed.] who may be there illegally.

Source: Tkachenko on air during the national joint 24/7 newscast

Quote: "We know that clergy, monks and some seminarians remain, but there are also some civilians, the nature and legality of whose stay on this territory raise some doubts.

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On the premises of the Lavra there is a whole production workshop [production of furniture and candles – ed.]. It could be employees of these enterprises. As well as people unknown to us who arrived there in the last 2-3 days."

Details: As he states, the commission of the Ministry of Culture is to try again to come to the Lavra and start an inventory in order to return the management of the lower Lavra to the state.

If supporters of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate [UOC-MP] do not interfere with the work of the commission, the inventory will be completed in 2-3 days.

Meanwhile, a video broadcast from the territory of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra has been started on the UOC-MP’s Facebook page.

Background:

  • In March 2023, the National Reserve Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra terminated an agreement with the UOC-MP on the free use of the monastery. On 30 March, the clergy of the UOC-MP had to leave the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, although they did not want to do so and therefore filed a lawsuit against the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra National Reserve. The court dismissed the claim.
  • A commission from the Ministry of Culture, which was supposed to take an inventory of the property of the Kyiv Cave Reserve, was twice prevented from entering the monastery by priests and parishioners of the UOC-MP.
  • Pavlo, the abbot of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), threatened journalists with violence and prevented them from doing their work. The Union of Journalists of Ukraine reported mass violations of journalists' rights near the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.
  • Meanwhile Avraamii (Lotysh), Archimandrite of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra of the UOC-MP, joined the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) and asked its head, Metropolitan Epiphanius, to approve him as acting abbot of the monastery. Epiphanius agreed, and UOC-MP Metropolitan Onufriy banned Archimandrite Avraamii from serving for going over to the OCU.
  • On 1 April, the Shevchenkivskyi Court of Kyiv placed Pavlo (Petro Lebid), the former abbot of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, under round-the-clock house arrest until 30 May on suspicion of inciting inter-confessional hatred and justifying Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine.

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