Trials continue: why the UOC-MP has not yet left the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and what are the chances that this will happen

Anna PaskevychSociety
Trials continue: why the UOC-MP has not yet left the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and what are the chances that this will happen

Some of the facilities of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra are still used by a male monastery of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate. The courts are currently considering the termination of the lease agreement. The first instance courts ruled in favor of the state, but representatives of the UOC-MP filed an appeal.

This is stated in the response of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine in response to a request from OBOZ.UA. In particular, the Ministry of Culture reported that as of March 7, 2024, all the premises, buildings, and churches of the Upper Lavra (Assumption Cathedral, Refectory Church of St. Anthony and Theodosius of the Caves) are not used by the UOC-MP.

Starting in January 2023, the community of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine has been holding regular services in the churches of the Upper Lavra.

As for the Lower Lavra, the premises of which were transferred to the use of the monastery of the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra of the UOC-MP in 2013, 16 of its facilities have been returned to date.

At the same time, some of the objects are used by the monastery, in particular for religious needs – we are talking about residential cells, refectories, and religious buildings.

"The issue of the legality of the termination of the agreement on the use of the occupied premises by the monastery is being considered in courts. The first instance courts ruled in favor of the Reserve. The court consideration of the monastery's appeals is currently underway," the Ministry of Culture reported.

As reported by OBOZ.UA:

– The National Reserve "Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra" announced the termination of the lease agreement with the UOC-MP on March 29, 2023, but allegedly the faithful organized protests near the monastery. For a long time, unknown persons locked the premises from the inside and did not allow the commission to take an inventory of the property.

- The former abbot of the Lavra, Metropolitan Pavlo, was suspected of inciting inter-religious hatred and justifying Russia's armed aggression. He was sent to a pre-trial detention center, but in August his lawyer posted bail for him for 900 thousand dollars. Pavlo is currently under house arrest.

- In August 2023, the Kyiv Commercial Court recognized the legal termination of the contract between the UOC-MP monastery and the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra National Reserve and ordered the monastery to vacate 79 objects of the Lower Lavra.

- In January 2024, the court dismissed the UOC-MP's claims to use the property of the Reserve "Ancient Chernihiv", whose facilities are nationally significant architectural monuments.

- In February, the SSU conducted searches at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. As it turned out, they were related to the case of staged protests.

- At the end of February, the UOC-MP monastery did not allow the OCU to hold a service for the repose of the souls of those killed in the caves of the Lavra.

- On March 5, the Rada Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy supported a bill to ban the UOC-MP in Ukraine.

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