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Metropolitan Joanikije II of Montenegro and the Littoral: expulsion of monks from the Kiev Pechersk Lavra is a violation of all international norms

Metropolitan Joanikije II of Montenegro and the Littoral: expulsion of monks from the Kiev Pechersk Lavra is a violation of all international norms
Version for print
30 March 2023 year 20:27

On the 27th of March 2023, Metropolitan Joanikije II of Montenegro and the Littoral said that the expulsion of monks from the Kiev Lavra of the Caves is a violation of all international norms. This was reported by the DECR website of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Metropolitan Joanikije sent a letter to the chancellor of the UOC Metropolitan Anthony of Borispol and Brovary, in which he expressed support for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The head of the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral said he grieved over recent events in Ukraine.

"The intentions to evict the brethren from Kiev Pechersk Lavra, as well as from other shrines of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, about which we hear these days, seem simply incredible and so absurd that it is difficult to believe that this can be talked about at all," wrote Metropolitan Joanikije.

Vladyka also noted that "the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, with its shrines, is the best symbol of solidarity and consent of the Church, society and people, rather than a stone of stumbling and disagreement."

"We see that you personally, as well as the entire Ukrainian Orthodox Church, do everything to ensure that this is the case, helping in word, deed, prayer. But, unfortunately, the other side, the authorities, acts exactly the opposite, trying to eclipse, with various false accusations, all the good that the Church brings to its flock" the hierarch noted.

According to him, "this false propaganda is not having the desired effect, which is confirmed by the thousands of believers who gather these days and pray for the preservation of the holy places."

Metropolitan Joanikije outlined the attitude of the international community toward these events.

"This is, in fact, a gross violation of international acts and norms on freedom of conscience and religion. <...> It seems incredible to people living in the twenty-first century that someone is going to evict hundreds of monks from the monastery to the street," stressed the hierarch.

Metropolitan Joanikije  also wrote that Montenegrin clergy and believers "are praying and worrying for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its Primate, Blessed Metropolitan Onuphry, a hierarch who has gained great spiritual authority throughout the Christian world."

"In these days, the faithful of Montenegro are going to pray that the Lord would change the hearts of who are hostile against His Holy Church, call them to the path of salvation, and preserve the dear Ukrainian Church from all evil," concluded the head of the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

DECR Communication Service/Patriarchia.ru

Version: Russian

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