KDA refutes accusations of "illegal sublease" of Lavra buildings

06 April 2023 14:12
The Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary. Photo: KDAiS Facebook page The Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary. Photo: KDAiS Facebook page

Abp Silvester explained that the monastery and other church institutions were treated as a single complex when the lease agreement for the Lavra buildings was signed.

Rector of the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary Archbishop Silvester has refuted accusations by the Ministry of Culture that the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra has allegedly illegally subleased the buildings to KDAiS, thus violating the 2013 lease agreement. This is the subject of an article by the bishop published on the website of the Kyiv Theological Schools.

"In recent weeks, it has been repeatedly written in the media that the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary are illegally located on the territory of the Lavra, as the 2013 agreement contains a clause prohibiting the monastery from subletting any premises to other organizations," the rector writes. “But let me remind you: the Academy and the Seminary were on the Lavra territory long before 2013. And this fact was taken into account when the agreement was concluded in 2013. Then the monastery and other church institutions (the Academy, the residence of the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Chancellery of the Kyiv Metropolis) were considered a single church-administrative complex".

Vladyka highlighted that the revival of the Kyiv Theological Seminary started at the Lavra in 1989, and in 1992 the Theological Academy resumed its activity there.

Archbishop stressed that back in 1990, the state directly transferred buildings to the Kyiv Theological Seminary as evidenced by a document "whose existence should have been known by both the Reserve staff, and participants of numerous commissions and experts”.

"This is an act of handing over to the Church certain facilities on the territory of the Lavra. This act said that the general director of the Reserve Yu.D. Kibalnik, fulfilling the decision of the Soviet of Ministers of UkrSSR of April 28, 1990, No. 99 ‘On transfer of some objects of museum association "The Kyiv-Pechersk State Historical-Cultural Reserve’ to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church", transfers these buildings to the Church. The then rector of the Kyiv Theological Seminary, Archpriest Peter Vlodek, received these buildings from the Reserve. At the bottom of the document, there are signatures of Kibalnik and Archpriest Peter Vlodek, and also a stamp of the Reserve and a stamp of the Kyiv Theological Seminary! These buildings now house the KDA administrative part and classrooms (building 64) and the KDA library (building 63). Thus, the Kyiv Theological Schools received these buildings for use directly from the Reserve, and not from the monastery. Therefore, a sublease between the Academy and the monastery has never been drawn up!” said the rector.

KDA refutes accusations of

For more than three decades there has been a "constructive relationship" and even close collaboration between the National Reserve and the KDAiS, he said.

"The KDA and the Reserve have prepared joint scientific publications and held scientific conferences and exhibitions together. In 2011, a cooperation agreement was signed between the KDA and the Reserve. As a result of this agreement, such subjects as "History of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra" (the course was read by Reserve employee Yaroslav Litvinenko), "Preservation of Monuments of Church Art" (the course up to the current academic year was read by Reserve deputy director on scientific work Konstantin Krainiy) were included into the curriculum," Archbishop Silvester said.

As reported, earlier the head of the Educational Committee at the Holy Synod of the UOC, Metropolitan Clement of Nizhyn and Pryluki, sent an appeal to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy not to allow the Kyiv Theological Academy to be evicted from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.

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