Reserve denies access to Lavra for KDAiS students and teachers
The Reserve leadership considers students, teachers, and staff of Kyiv theological schools to be “visitors” of the monastery and forbids them to be there.
The administration of the National Reserve "Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra" disallowed access to the territory of the monastery for students, teachers and other employees of the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary. This is said in the letter of acting Director General of the Reserve Maksym Ostapenko, addressed to the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy. A photocopy of the letter was published by the Lavra live Telegram channel.
Ostapenko writes that “due to the repeated obstruction of the work of the commission for sealing the buildings”, the reserve, from August 11, 2023, by a special order closed the territory of the Lower Lavra for visitors, and also “determined the procedure for access to the territory of the Lower Lavra only for priests, monks, and attendants” of the monastery and the arrival/departure of its vehicles."
“The Reserve and the Theological Academy do not have contractual relations regarding the activities of the Theological Academy on the territory and in the buildings of the Lower Lavra, as well as regarding the stay of its students, teachers, and employees there,” the letter says. “In view of the foregoing, the Reserve cannot give permission to students, teachers, and employees of the Theological Academy, since they are considered visitors, whose access to the territory of the Lower Lavra is closed according to the order of the Reserve.”
As reported by the UOJ, the rector of the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary, Archbishop Sylvester, refuted the accusations of the Ministry of Culture that the monastery allegedly illegally subleased the buildings of the Lavra to the KDAiS.