UOC (MP) and UOC-KP hierarchs reckon that the Kyivans’ initiative on Lavra is unpromising
The initiative of Kyiv residents, who placed a petition on the city council’s website for the transfer of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra to the Kyiv Patriarchate’s jurisdiction, has virtually no chance of implementation. This opinion was expressed in the commentary by the head of the Information Department of the Kyiv Patriarchate, archbishop Yevstratii (Zorya), Obozrevatel reports.
"Speaking of the form, I think it is a kind of reaction to the position of the UOC Moscow Patriarchate on current political events. In particular, the activities of the notorious governor of Lavra, Metropolitan Pavlo. This also applies to his close relationships with representatives of the previous government,” he suggested.
At the same time, Archbishop is confident: it is impossible to fulfill the petition’s requirements. “Is it real to implement what it says? I have serious doubts. In the present circumstances the municipal or state governments are hardly willing to look for troubles with the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.”
“We see that in most cases the states concerning the Church trying to work for a particular denomination, and tries to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings,” he added.
UOC (MP) also believes that the petition by Kyiv residents on the transfer of Lavra to another denomination is hopeless. Moreover, they call this initiative for collecting signatures anti-Ukrainian and the one that fuels inter-confessional controversy in the country.
This is stated in the comment by Chairman of the Synodal Information Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) Bishop Klyment (Vecherya), published on UNIAN religion.
“Kyiv city government is not empowered to decide to which church should the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra should belong. There is some doubt as to who is behind the voices in this petition,” said Bishop Klyment.
In his view, such actions are beneficial for external forces interested in fuelling the civil conflict and destabilization in Ukraine.
“A huge number of people, who visit daily the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra daily, have learnt with a deep sorrow the news that someone wanted to take away the sanctuary of the currently unique canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine. An attempt is made again to smear the UOC that it supposedly takes position which is hostile towards Ukraine. In fact it is vice versa: anti-Ukrainian activities are carried out by those who are launching a petition and thus paving the way for inter-religious conflict in the country,” His Eminence Klyment said.
As it was previously reported, on December 8, a petition was placed on the city council website to transfer the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra from the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate to the UOC Kyiv-Patriarchate.
It noted that, given the anti-Ukrainian position of the majority of UOC (MP) clergymen, Kyivans asked to consider the possibility of collecting signatures of the Kyivan community to transfer the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra to the jurisdiction of the UOC-Kyiv Patriarchate from UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate.
The e-petition for signature collection of Kyiv community on the transfer of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra from the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate to the UOC Kyiv-Patriarchate has received the vote required according to Decree No. 103/2006 of Kyiv City Council as of 08.10.2015 “On approval of the procedure for submission and review of electronic petitions” and was accepted for review under this Regulation.
Thus, the indicated petition received 10,354 signatures, the minimum required being 10,000.
The text of the petition on the transfer of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra to the jurisdiction of the UOC-Kyiv Patriarchate from UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate (Author: Oleksiy Kononenko).
The petition text can be found here: https://petition.kievcity.gov.ua/petition/?pid=1253