Orthodox Clergy

Orthodox monks inside a monastery in Kyiv refused to abide by an order to leave the premises after being accused by the Ukrainian government of maintaining close ties to the Kremlin and pushing Russian propaganda. 

The monastery, the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, or the Monastery of the Caves, is considered one of the holiest sites in Ukraine. The Ukrainian government, knowing that the issue is sensitive and could be a looming public relations disaster, said it will be “very polite” and remove the monks in a “judicial way,” The New York Times reported. 

The site is owned by the Ukrainian government but houses monks from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Some of those monks belong to the Moscow Patriarchate. The Times noted that these monks recognize leadership from the Russian Orthodox Church that has spoken out in support of the Ukraine invasion.

Kyiv said the monks were in violation of their lease after making alterations to the site and other technical infractions, the Associated Press reported.

TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has reported on how Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has consolidated power during the conflict with Russia and how the Western media completely ignores his power grab. (See “ZELENSKY, THE WEST’S HERO, TELLS RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH TO GO TO HELL” 6 Dec 2022 and “ZELENSKY TO UKRAINIAN MEDIA: I OWN YOU” 10 Jan 2023.)

In December, Zelensky called for a law that would make it impossible for religious organizations “affiliated with centers of influence in the Russian Federation to operate in Ukraine.”

Kyiv believes that the church is acting to undermine the country’s war effort and promote pro-Russian views. Some of the priests may be collaborating with Moscow.

His crackdown was criticized by Russian leadership at the time as “authoritarian.”

Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russian Security and the country’s former president, said at the time, “The current Ukrainian authorities have openly become enemies of Christ and the Orthodox faith.”

Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill said he prays that the Lord “bring the madmen to reason and help them understand that any desire to destroy Russia will mean the end of the world.”

Next Steps

The monks living at the monastery were informed by Kyiv that their lease would be terminated as of 29 March, but so far, Ukraine has not acted. 

Metropolitan Pavel, an abbot of the monastic complex, said Wednesday that the monks would not leave until the completion of a lawsuit to stop the eviction, the AP reported. He has since been put under house arrest for allegedly justifying Russian aggression. He has denied the charge and will wear an ankle monitor for two months.

“I am accepting this,” he said, according to the AP. “Christ was crucified on the cross, so why shouldn’t I accept this?”

The report noted that Pavel has cursed Zelensky and threatened him with damnation.

Ukraine has insisted that the eviction process will soon begin. 

Mikhail Podoliak, an adviser to Zelensky, has called the Russian Orthodox Church nothing more than a war propaganda arm of the Kremlin that has called for the “genocide of Ukrainians.”

Senia Kravchuk, a 38-year-old software developer from Kyiv, also raised concerns about the pro-Russian stance in the monastery.

“They wash the brains of people with Russian support, and they are very dangerous for Ukraine,” she said. “They sing songs in support of Russia, and that’s horrible, here, in the center of Kyiv.”

A 21-year-old priest who was also interviewed in the report said allegations that the monks were pro-Russian were wrong.

“Look at me. I’m in priest’s clothes, with a Ukrainian flag and a cross around my neck. Could you say that I’m pro-Russian?” he asked. “The priests are currently singing a Ukrainian hymn, and they’re being called pro-Russian. Can you believe it?”

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: This occurrence was barely reported in the western media. If the alleged Ukraine neo-Nazi’s closed down a synagogue and arrested the chief Rabbi, it would be major news and condemned by politicians and the talking heads. And if Russia was to arrest an alleged pro-Ukrainian religious leader that too would be big news. We note this to illustrate the hypocrisy of both the governments and their media Presstitutes.

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