Lavra abbot on SBU’s words: You won’t recognize OCU? You will be tried then

20 July 2023 12:54
Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra abbot, Metropolitan Pavel. Photo: Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra abbot, Metropolitan Pavel. Photo:

Metropolitan Pavel said that SBU officers repeatedly threatened him with criminal proceedings unless he recognized the OCU.

Metropolitan Pavel, the abbot of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, said that the SBU officers repeatedly demanded that he recognize the OCU. In case of refusal, they threatened to initiate criminal proceedings against him. He said this in an interview with the UOJ.

The hierarch explained that he had two meetings with SBU officials – one on the territory of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra museum and the other at the SBU building.

According to his account, during the first meeting, the security service officials started by saying, "You speak incorrectly or unfavorably about Patriarch Bartholomew," and then demanded that he recognize the OCU.

"I replied that there couldn't even be a discussion about it. Then they offered me to compromise. What kind of compromise could it be? Probably compromising my conscience, asking me to abandon God. I said that it wouldn't happen. At that point, the person sitting next to Rudnyk (the deputy director of the Reserve – Ed.) told me, 'Then criminal proceedings will be initiated against you,'" said Metropolitan Pavel. 

The abbot of the Lavra noted that the second meeting with SBU representatives took place two days after the meeting at the museum. The chief of the SBU in Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast and two other security service officials, who had previously interrogated the bishop, were present.

"In this meeting, they were more lenient. I reiterated to them that there could be no compromise with the Church and the state, that I am a citizen of my country, and I obey the law, but I cannot betray Christ, and that will not happen. We will not be evicted either," added the hierarch.

As reported by the UOJ, the court sent the Lavra abbot behind the bars.

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