UOC-MP responds to the proposal of the Primate of the OCU
According to Glavkom, a statement was issued by the Department for External Church Relations of the UOC-MP.
On March 18, 2023, the leader of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), Epifaniy (Dumenko), urged the monks of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) to join the OCU. In response, we believe it is important to report the following. It should be noted that the monks of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra had already responded to Epiphaniy's previous statements on January 27, 2023. At that time, they declared, "we have been, are, and will remain in the Truth and remain loyal to our canonical Church and its Primate, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry," and confirmed that they would not be joining the OCU. This statement reads.
The Lavra is home to Ukrainian monks, who are citizens of Ukraine. Ukrainians live in the Lavra Ukrainian monastics, not the Russian ones, as is often falsely claimed in the media. The UOC-MP emphasizes in its statement that there is no authority of the Moscow Patriarchate in the monastery.
Furthermore, the Moscow-affiliated Church believes that the eviction of monks from the Lavra serves as a provocation for Russians to continue "protecting the Orthodox," thereby providing them with new arguments to justify their aggression against Ukraine.
According to a statement published by the UOC-MP, the press secretary of the Russian President, D. Peskov, recently stated that "the eviction of monks from the Lavra justifies the goals of the special operation." Therefore, when Epifaniy states that "the enemy is using this historical event to divide Ukrainian unity and sow discord among us," it begs the question of who is actually providing the enemy with reasons for such decisions and actions.
Earlier, Metropolitan Epifaniy of the OCU released a proposition to the UOC monks.