Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
One of the main shrines of the Russian Church – the Pochayev Lavra, an outpost of Orthodoxy in Western Ukraine – may soon be lost for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP).
The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine reported on November 23rd that it recognised as illegal the contract signed in 2003 for the transfer of the monastic cells, cathedrals, and Lavra caves to the free use of the UOC MP.
This contract was signed for 49 years (until 2052) shortly before the “orange revolution” – the first Maidan. Back then the Prime Minister at the time Viktor Yanukovych expected to secure himself with the votes of Orthodox Christians. The Pochayev Lavra wasn’t the only one – for example, shortly before elections the UOC MP also received the Saint Vladimir Cathedral in Chersonesus.
November 23rd’s decision to cancel the contract with the UOC MP was made after the Ministry of Justice considered the complaint of the local historical and cultural reserve. The lawyer of the organisation found a catch – Ukrainian legislation doesn’t allow to transfer property to free use for a term of more than 1 year – i.e., such an agreement has to be renewed annually.
Thus, the situation surrounding the Pochayev Lavra can become a precedent for the gradual squeezing of other shrines out of the UOC MP for the purpose of their transferal to the “united local Ukrainian church”, which is being created under the curatorship of the US and its puppets – Patriarch Bartholomew and the president Petro Poroshenko.
As is known, earlier the Ukrainian authorities already made a decision on the transferal of the well-known St. Andrew’s Church in the center of Kiev – constructed by the Russian tsars – to the new schismatic structure.
In the most important shrine – the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra – some of the temples even now belong not to the church, but to the reserve, so Poroshenko can give the upper Lavra to schismatics already today, and he can then gradually force out the UOC MP from the remaining part of the Lavra.
Even the former press secretary of the SBU Stanislav Rechinsky, who sympathises with nationalists, recognises the danger of the situation exploding as a result of hatred towards the UOC MP being inflated by the media.
“A field of hatred is now being created – when one spark is enough and some will go to storm monasteries and other will go to assault nuns. And war will start. This is dupery. Don’t buy into it. We have to live here – all of us. Side by side. It is stupid to hate,” wrote Rechinsky in his blog.
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