KDAiS rector assumes the authorities plan to transfer Lavra to Phanar
According to Archbishop Sylvester, the fate of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra could have been the subject of discussion during Mike Pompeo's visit to Ukraine.
The rector of the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary, Archbishop Sylvester of Bilohorodka, admits that the Ukrainian authorities plan to transfer the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and some other ancient monasteries of the UOC to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. He said this during a video conference with Greek journalists.
The hierarch recalled that at the time when the OCU received the Tomos of autocephaly, the topic of transferring a number of ancient Ukrainian shrines to the Phanar, which were to become stauropegia of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, was discussed. In 2018, the Phanar already received the St. Andrew's Church in Kyiv, and now the official residence of the Exarch of Constantinople in Ukraine, Bishop Michael, is located there.
“Given the precedent and the fact that the Lavra was once the stauropegia of the Ecumenical Patriarch, the option by which there may be a ‘return’, but in fact the seizure of the Lavra and some other ancient monasteries from us in favor of Constantinople is more than possible,” the archbishop said.
He admitted that this issue could have been discussed during the recent visit to Kyiv by former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“While in office, Mr. Pompeo repeatedly visited Ukraine and met with the ‘Metropolitan’ Epifaniy. Recently, he has also visited Kyiv and had a meeting with representatives of the OCU. It is unlikely that they discussed any superficial issues and had tea. Obviously, it was about strategic tasks,” said the KDAiS rector.
As the UOJ reported, in September 2020, Mike Pompeo, then the head of the US State Department, spoke about his “enduring support” for the Patriarchate of Constantinople.