The hieromonk, who left the UOC-MP to join the OCU, spoke about the mood of the Brethren of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra

02.04.2021, 15:51
The hieromonk, who left the UOC-MP to join the OCU, spoke about the mood of the Brethren of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra - фото 1
Former assistant to the Chairman of the Information and Public Relations Department of the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, church publicist and theologian of the UOC-MP, hieromonk Innokenty Podtoptany joined the clergy of the Pereyaslav-Vishnevsky Diocese of the local Church of Ukraine. This news caused a real commotion in Ukrainian Orthodoxy.

The local church was joined by a representative of the Ukrainian monastery, which serves the most conservative and closed part of the Russian Orthodox Church in our country.

According to Fr Innokenty, he joined the local Ukrainian Orthodox Church in mid-March, but this was not publicly announced.

During all this time, the UOC-MP was ignoring what happened, and only on March 31, Metropolitan Onufriy banned Fr Innokenty from liturgical service.

In an interview with Glavkom, hieromonk Innokenty spoke of the mood of the Brethren in the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra.

"The most important thing that held me back and still holds back are a lot of pro-Ukrainian people in the very structure of the UOC-MP is the propaganda that is currently being conducted. Especially in recent years, the rhetoric of "schismatics", "devoid of grace", and the like has returned. When His Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr was the Primate of the UOC-MP, this rhetoric was abandoned. But after his death, for reasons I don't understand, this church returned to her. I think it's all been going on by inertia since 1992. That's how the same people started this rhetoric back then, and the same people continue this rhetoric almost thirty years later. Well, of course, this is in the manual. It all starts from the top.

As for the Lavra, most people do not think about this propaganda. They go with the flow. We once talked with His Eminence Oleksandr (Drabinko) about this situation. He said that if the Lavra would be given to the OCU, then 70% of its inhabitants will remain. Well, maybe not 70%, but 50% for sure. Time will put everything in its place. Sooner or later, the Lavra will become part of the local Orthodox Church, and it's only a matter of time...

The Lavra has both a pro-Ukrainian wing and a pro-Russian wing. But, to be honest, most of the brethren have abstracted from all this and are engaged in the ministry. The majority of the brethren live this very ecclesiastical monastic life, and they simply try not to interfere in political, geopolitical, religious-political, and purely religious affairs. On the one hand, this is quite right, because a monk is staying in a monastery, and on the other hand, every person should be a citizen of their land and homeland, a good citizen.

All those who join the UOC/OCU are banned by the Moscow Patriarchate from serving. No one threatens anyone that if you go to the OCU, we will do something else with you. So a man lives in a monastery and decided to leave. But where? Tell me why he should go to the St. Michael's monastery if he has caves in the Lavra, akathists serve in the Lavra, and a monk can go to the relics all the time. What's the point of leaving this place and going to St. Michael's monastery, for example? And in truth, there is no such monastery in the UOC/OCU that could accept, for example, 50 or more monks if they joined the local church...

One rather respected Lavra elder asked me: why doesn't our bishop Onufriy want to ask for autocephaly from Moscow? And this is the question that he asked me. I have been asking myself for the third year. It seems to me that he was simply brought up in the tradition of Russian Orthodoxy and remains faithful to it," he said.

As for the head of the Lavra, Metropolitan Pavel (Lebed), the hieromonk hopes that he will still be in the same church with Vladyka Pavel:

"I hope that Vladyka Pavel and I will still be in the same church. I think that with God's help, it will be so. You see, even if I wanted to say something bad about someone, I have nothing to say. I lived a quiet life in the Lavra, a monastic life."