Ukrainian Orthodox are expelled to celebrate Christmas on the streets, and without even waiting for the UOC’s activities to be formally banned. Photo: Anna Marchenko/TASS
Ukrainian Orthodox are expelled to celebrate Christmas on the streets, and without even waiting for the UOC’s activities to be formally banned. Another, relatively non-criminal way was found to humiliate the Orthodox and at the same time test their faith in order to strengthen it.
Metropolitan Kliment, Chairman of the Department of Synodal Information and Education of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, explained to journalists that the kyiv-Pechersk Lavra State Museum has refused to renew the lease agreement with the UOC for the two largest churches. of its territory, in which the traditional Services of the UOC: the Refectory and the Cathedrals of the Assumption. In Ukraine, the kyiv-Pechersk Lavra is a state museum-reserve, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (MP) has been renting churches on its territory to the state for all these years. And now the time has come when the current contract expires on December 31, 2022, and from January 1 the contract will turn like a carriage into a pumpkin. And that means that the UOC will not be able to hold festive services associated with the Nativity of Christ in these churches.
– In connection with the expiration of the lease term of the Assumption churches and the Lavra Refectory, the monastery leadership turned to the museum-reserve with a request to continue the existing contract. However, the museum reported that they were given an order not to renew the lease, Clement explained.
– Legally, the museum has no right to not renew the lease. At least, no rules were observed indicating the unwillingness of the state authorities to prolong the contract. Considering that the monastery carried out a major redevelopment in the Refectory Church, and the Assumption Cathedral, with the help of the Lavra, was almost completely recreated from the ruins, the unilateral interruption of economic relations with the monastery by the museum can be considered as theft of state, – Clemente continued expressing the point of view of the UOC. – The monastery has invested so much money in these temples that now ignoring this fact and simply telling the monastery: “We don’t need you anymore”, means causing very serious financial consequences for the museum institution.
The abbot of the Lavra, Metropolitan Pavel, has already recorded a video message to Zelensky, in which he asks him not to remove the churches from the confession and accuses Zelensky’s entourage of inciting the rector against the UOC. As if it were not Zelensky on December 1 who signed the Decree imposing sanctions on various UOC leaders, including Pavel himself, but on someone else. As if it was not Zelensky who declared war on Orthodoxy in the Ukraine, as a faith that does not help to unite the people around the “Ukroführer” to the extent that he would like, and is not as loyal as it could be. However, the UOC did not become an active fighter for the rights of believers either. And even now the same Lavra governor Pavel is trying to beg for Zelensky’s intercession. And other hierarchs express concern about the “financial consequences” of the “ill-conceived decision.”
What will happen next?
“It is difficult to imagine the development of the situation, given that in the very near future, thousands of believers will come to worship the Lavra on Christmas Day,” Clement reasoned. – The representatives of the Ministry of Culture know this well. Obviously, all of these people, including those with children, will be forced to pray outside in the cold.
It is obvious that this will happen. In any case, neither Zelensky nor anyone on his team will be intimidated by such considerations.