Moscow Patriarchate objects to leaving Kyiv Lavra, demands court ruling

29.03.2023, 13:05
Moscow Patriarchate objects to leaving Kyiv Lavra, demands court ruling - Photo
Metropolitan Kliment (screenshot from the video)

The Moscow-controlled clergy is not going to leave the territory of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra reserve, because there are allegedly no legal grounds for this, Metropolitan Kliment, the head of the information and educational department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church — Moscow Patriarchate, told reporters at the monastery in central Kyiv, correspondent reports.

"We do not have any legal reason to leave the monastery now... There is no document that obliges us to leave the monastery today. There are documents that show that the contract should expire on the 29th, but it is not prescribed that it ends on the 29th," said Kliment.

He believes that this issue should be resolved in court, but the reserve, according to Kliment, did not file a lawsuit.

When asked by the journalist, why did the UOC-MP take things out of the monastery then, he replied that most of the belongings remained.

The commission for the audit of assets "will not work tomorrow, because there is no court decision," Kliment said.

When asked if the representatives of the UOC-MP are going to prevent the commission from entering the territory of the Lavra, he answered: "They will not come themselves. They have no authority."

Kliment denied that some of the monks were going to join the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

Asked whether the UOC-MP will leave the Lavra if there is a relevant court decision, he answered: "The question is that it cannot be, because the law is on our side. In response to a clarifying question whether Kliment is convinced that the UOC MP will remain on the territory of the Lavra reserve forever, he answered: "Absolutely."

On March 29, 2023, the Holy Assumption Monastery of the UOC-MP was meant to vacate the premises of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. In response, the Moscow Patriarchate stated that they consider this an "ultimatum", do not see any legal grounds in this and are not going to leave.

The abbot of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra Pavlo (Lebed) asserted that the monks of the UOC-MP are not going to be evicted.

Minister of Culture Oleksandr Tkachenko warned that the UOC-MP should not try to take museum exhibits, in particular relics of saints, from the Lavra, as they would face criminal liability. According to him, there will be no eviction from the Lavra, but some members of the UOC-MP will be "stimulated" to transfer to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

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