Pochaev Lavra: power chooses to destroy monasticism of western Ukraine

The Ukrainian power has embarked on seizure of property from the Pochaev Lavra and its transfer to a new church structure, the monastery said in the statement.

It will result in the destruction of monasticism in the territory of western Ukraine. This is stated in an address of the brethren of the Holy Dormition Pochaev Lavra, posted on the site of the monastery.

“With sorrow in our hearts, we appeal to you with a request to double your prayer vigil for the sake of peace and unity of believers in the bosom of the canonical Church. We are compelled to state that at present the Ukrainian government uses communist methods of struggle against the Orthodox Church,” the document says.

The brethren remind that “about 100 years ago, the Bolshevik leaders, L. Trotsky in the first line, and others like him, set a goal of creating an Orthodox church organization under the control of Soviet power. This is how the Renovation Movement or the Living Church appeared. One of the main ideas of this organization was the abolition of monasticism. After the creation of the renovation organization, the Bolsheviks began an active struggle against the Orthodox Church, which became outlawed. Under the slogans of “complicity in the counter-revolution”, temples and church values would be seized, while the clergy would be subject to severe reprisals. It is worth noting that the schismatics of the Renovationist church were supported by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. This “Living Church” did not manage to exist even for 30 years, whereas the canonical Church has stood firmly to the present day.”

“Unfortunately, the new party leaders do not remember the lessons of history. The rhetoric of power in 100 years has not changed: the inhabitants of the Lavra remain for them “accomplices of the counter-revolution”. Using controlled mass media, the current government is increasingly implanting this opinion into the minds of our Ukrainian people,” the monks say.

The brethren emphasize: “Simultaneously, the city council of Pochaev refused to comply with the legal decision of the court, which obliges the transfer of land for maintenance of the buildings to the Holy Dormition Pochaev monastery.”

“At present, the commission of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, in response to the complaint from the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, has cancelled the registration of the contract for the right to use the Assumption Cathedral, the Trinity Cathedral, monastic cells, the bell tower, the bishop’s house and the Holy Gates. It is worth noting that since 2000 this is the third attempt to turn the shrine into a museum. We believe that the prosecution authorities, which in a short period of time initiated several unfounded criminal cases, are striving to achieve a similar goal,” the statement says.

“In the context of deprivation of the right to use, it is also about the place of residence of 200 monks and 50 novices – people who abandoned the world and devoted their lives to serving God. We are compelled to state that, at present, the current Ukrainian authorities have embarked on expropriating property from the Holy Dormition Pochaev Lavra and transferring it to its newly formed church organization, which wil lead eventually to the destruction of monasticism in western Ukraine,” the final part of the document says.

As the UOJ reported, on November 23, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine cancelled the re-registration of the buildings of the Holy Dormition Pochaev Lavra. In turn, Protopriest Alexander Bakhov, Chairman of the Legal Department of the UOC, said that the Pochaev Monastery continues to be in the lawful and legitimate use by the monastery’s brotherhood, despite the decision of the Justice Ministry.


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