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Kiev Pechersk Lavra brethren offered to join new Orthodox Church of Ukraine

One of the Lavra’s monks stated during the briefing that the monks would remain in the Lavra

KIEV, January 15. /TASS/. Head of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra Metropolitan Pavel stated that the monastery’s brethren have been offered to join the newly formed Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

"Today, they told me: make an announcement and tell them (the monks - TASS), perhaps, the brethren want to join the Ukrainian church," the metropolitan stated during the briefing on Tuesday, without specifying who approached him. At the same time, the head of the Lavra stressed that the monks "are already in the Ukrainian church, they are fully subservient to God."

One of the Lavra’s monks, father Polikarp, stated during the briefing that the monks would remain in the Lavra. "We are not planning to leave our shrine, we live on our land, we pray for our country," he said, adding that the monks are not planning to take any objects of worship out of the monastery.

Since the February 2014 coup, Kiev has sought to create an independent church in Ukraine that would sever ties with the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church. In April 2018, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko wrote a personal letter to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople asking for autocephaly for the Ukrainian church.

On December 15, Kiev hosted the so-called ‘unification’ council held under the supervision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and brokered by the Ukrainian authorities. The canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church refused to take part in the event, stressing that both the ‘unification council’ and Poroshenko’s newly founded ecclesiastical establishment were illegitimate. Nevertheless, after the council, the Ukrainian president announced the establishment of this new church in the country - the so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine.