Chronicles of standing for the Lavra: March 31
We offer a timeline of the believers’ standing for the Lavra on March 31.
The morning of March 31, 2023 began with the information about possible provocations by radicals near the Lavra. Insiders warned believers that the task of the radicals is to provoke aggression from the defenders of the Lavra or the clergy. Therefore, they needed to be very careful in conversations with those who ask questions or try to cause a conflict.
A little later, the instructions to provocateurs hit the Net. We mean audio recordings in which a person with a voice similar to Yevhen Karas says that the task of the radicals is to “film monkeys on the phone” so that the “EU” can see that the defenders of the Lavra are a group of aggressive people, pure terrorists. According to Karas, the radicals should "act as a catalyst for the conflict", to show that representatives of the UOC behave like aggressors.
“Because if the special forces go there to take away the Lavra, all their aggressive behavior will help a lot. So that everyone, including Europeans, would say that this is some kind of a terrorist group, not monks,” Karas said. He explains that the task is “to film monkeys, stupid quotes, the aggression of these priests. And we will have a video showing them behave like cattle.”
At about 10 am, representatives of the commission of the Reserve, who were supposed to “accept” the building for inspection, turned up at the church of St. Agapit of the Caves. However, the believers did not let them inside. As Metropolitan Clement (Vecheria) explained, the police must protect the believers, because they cannot “accept” the Lavra’s property until the commission has a court decision.
Interestingly, MP Mykyta Poturaev agreed with this to the effect that the authorities would probably still have to go to court and resolve the issue of “transferring” the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in this way. “I do not rule out such a scenario, according to which they (the UOC – Ed.) will stay there and demand a court decision,” said the MP. “I believe that the court decision is not necessary in principle, that all actions by the state and such state institutions as the reserve were carried out in accordance with the law, were absolutely justified, legitimate. But I understand that on such a sensitive issue, on which our enemies will definitely speculate in the international arena, the state may have to go to court, get a court decision, and then come with bailiffs.”
We add that a court decision is the only legal way.
Closer to 10 am the first provocateurs began to appear at the entrance to the Kyiv Caves Monastery. By the way, one of them, without hesitation, has a page in the Russian Vkontakte banned by the Ukrainian authorities. Apparently, people like him can do it. A little later, a "professional activist", who was identified as Mykhaylo Kashuba, joined a small group of radicals. He tried to break into the territory of the Lavra and thereby provoke a conflict, but the believers, with their patience and prayer, did not allow him to do so. By noon, Archimandrite Theodore came out to the defenders of the Lavra to sprinkle them with holy water. This did not please the "activist", who began to beat Father Theodore with a stick. Everything ended, thank God, without a clash.
Realizing that attempts at provocations lead nowhere, one of the “activists” present near the Lavra complained to her curators that “we are talking to them. But they sing back about some... (pause) Jesus (she said uncertainly).” It is not surprising that the supporters of the "Ukrainian Church" do not know Who Jesus Christ is. After all, one of them shouted out words glorifying the prophet Muhammad, and the other even came in a sweatshirt, which read: "Do you have a moment to talk about our Lord and Savior Satan?"
In an address to the faithful, Metropolitan Pavel said that the head of the OCU, Epifaniy Dumenko, appeals to state authorities with demands to transfer the Exaltation of the Cross Church of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra to its structure.
In turn, the spokesman of the UOC, Archpriest Mykolai Danylevych, explained that "the eviction of the monastery of the UOC from the Lavra can also be only on the basis of a court decision."
While the radicals from “Tradition and Order” approached the priests and asked, “How are you, Moscow priest, how is Kirill?”, one of the defenders of the Lavra came to the prayer stand with a portrait of her son, the hero of Ukraine Antoniy Zakrevsky, sexton of the church of St. Michael. The portrait has the signature of General Zaluzhny.
Closer to 3 pm, the believers began to offer lunches to everyone, including radicals and the police. While law enforcement officers politely refused to eat, among the radicals there were those who didn’t mind having something to eat.
Later, several opponents of the UOC, whose age did not exceed 15–16 years, came to the Lavra. With the sound support of these young people, a group of radicals made another attempt to enter the territory of the Lavra, but the police did not let them in. Further, apparently in order to reconnoiter the situation, the “priest” of the OCU Yaroslav Yasenets, who glorified the Third Reich, and Vilde, the first “queer priest” in Ukraine, came to the Lavra. They quickly retreated.
It should be noted that all this time the believers of the UOC offered up prayers to God, while the opponents of the Church wished “death to the enemies” with all their might.
At about 4:00 pm, Metropolitan Pavel, the abbot of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, announced that, according to information he had, the assault on the Lavra could begin at 5:00 pm. He expressed the hope that this would not happen and asked for prayers for the brethren of the monastery.
Literally at the same time, it became known that the exarch of the Russian Orthodox Church in Africa, Metropolitan Leonid of Klin, commenting on what was happening in the monastery in his tg-channel, said that all the bishops of the UOC who supported the Council in Feofaniya “should be driven with a filthy broom”, and assured the episcopate of our Church that when the troops of the Russian Federation “liberate” Ukraine, “you will no longer be here.”
A completely different position was expressed by the Primate of the Polish Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Savva, according to whom “what is happening today with the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, other monastic centers, churches and your Academy is an expression of great enslavement and persecution of the Church,” the hierarch emphasized.
At 5 pm, information appeared on the Web that the monastery had filed a lawsuit against Yevhen Karas, who called for physical violence against the believers of the UOC in his Telegram channel.
In the evening, it began to rain in Kyiv, and the number of radicals near the Lavra decreased significantly. The rest tried to show activity, but in response to the cries of "Get the Moscow priest out!" supporters of the UOC unfurled the flag of Ukraine, which shocked those who came to expel all the "priests" of the UOC to Moscow. The pro-Ukrainian position of the defenders of the Lavra was shocking not only to the radicals, but also to the journalists, to whom Hieromonk Nestor, teacher of the KDAiS, explained that he “grew up in a parish where they prayed in Ukrainian since 1941.”
At about 8 pm, Archbishop Victor (Kotsaba) arrived to join the defenders of the Lavra, who, together with the faithful, read the akathist to the Mother of God and simply threw prayerful and spiritual support behind them.
Archbishop Juraj, head of the Michalovce and Košice Diocese of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovaki, expressed his support for the UOC and the brethren of the Lavra. He criticized the action of the Ukrainian authorities toward the UOC: “I am amazed that during the war the officials of Ukraine are concentrating their forces on provoking internal strife, shamelessly abusing religion.” Vladyka appealed to the authorities of Ukraine as follows, “Come to your senses, please, before it’s too late, let the monks live and pray in their Lavra!” the archbishop addressed the leadership of Ukraine. “After all, they are people, not things to be moved; they are citizens of Ukraine, not enemies; their life is not your property!”
The day ended up with the radicals going home and the faithful carrying on prayers.
The result of this day is simple – the provocateurs failed to fulfill their plans. All their plans were destroyed by the prayers of ordinary believing people, who, in their hope and hope in God, showed a real example of fortitude in faith.
The third day of standing for the Lavra began with the SBU officers, who came to the abbot of the Kyiv-Pechersk Monastery, Metropolitan Pavel, to search him and accuse him of inciting hatred...