Orthodox Church of Ukraine appoints new Lavra vicar as Moscow-controlled church evicted

Orthodox Church of Ukraine appoints new Lavra vicar as Moscow-controlled church evicted

The Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epifaniy, appointed Archimandrite Avraamiy (Lotysh) to perform the duties of the vicar of the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra as part of the OCU.

This was reported by the Church press service, as seen by Ukrinform.

"A member of the spiritual council of the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Archimandrite Avraamiy (Lotysh) appealed to His Beatitude Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine, as the holy archimandrite of the monastery, with a request to confirm him among the brothers in the monastery with the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. His Beatitude Metropolitan Epifaniy granted his request and blessed Father Avraamiy to fulfill the duties of the vicar of the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra as part of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine," the statement reads.

Read also: Religious fake: Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, UOC (MP), and photo manipulation

In addition, Epifaniy appealed to the government to allow the use of Lavra premises for religious services, the accommodation of monks, and monastic activities. The Metropolitan expressed hope that the government would help protect the vicar and monastery from potential provocations by supporters of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Archimandrite Avraamiy also appealed to his brothers in faith to remain in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra as part of the OCU.

As reported by Ukrinform, the National Reserve Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra announced the termination of the lease agreement with the UOC (MP) on March 29, the day it expired.

However, the vicar, Metropolitan Pavlo (UPC (MP)) stated that the monks did not intend to vacate the premises.

In turn, Secretary of the National Security Council Oleksiy Danilov said that the eviction of UOC (MP) priests would take place in accordance with the laws of Ukraine, and that the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra would host religious services "according to the laws of our country, not of those artificial entities that had been once created here in huge numbers outside the legal framework for certain events."

Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine, in his address to the brothers of the Lavra and the public, stated that the issue of shutting down the monastery in the Lavra and stopping prayers, services, and monastic life in it was off the table.

Read also: Heads of OCU, UGCC agree to set up working group to reform church calendar

The majority of Ukrainians support the decision to evict the UOC (MP) from the Lavra. According to the opinion poll conducted by Active Group on March 4-10, more than 63% of Ukrainians expressed their support for the eviction of the monks of the Moscow Patriarchate from the churches in the territory of the Lavra.

Over the recent month, law enforcement raided a number of dioceses run by the UOC (MP) as part of the inquiries into the activities of certain clerics who are suspected to have sided with the enemy forces to the detriment of Ukraine’s national security.

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