OrthoChristian.com reported a recent development in the ongoing effort to throw the Russian Orthodox Church out of Ukraine by techniques used under Communism.
The Union of Orthodox Journalists reported on November 23rd that the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice canceled an existing agreement to allow the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate the right to live and serve at Holy Dormition – Pochaev Lavra in Kyiv, which is one of the most holy sites in all of Ukrainian Orthodoxy. This move is ostensibly the continuing effort by powers within the Kyiv government led by Petro Poroshenko and aided and abetted by powers in Europe and the United States.
At the center of this as far as the West is concerned, is the creation of an “independent Ukrainian Church”. But the real story is far darker. The goal is to use this “church” which is at its center comprised of schismatics who don’t honestly say one single thing about Jesus Christ. This church will serve the government of Ukraine and the West as an Orthodox-resembling vehicle, in which to import all the secularization that has taken place in the West.
This amounts to an extremely well-organized attack on ancient Christianity, on traditional values regarding life and family, and it seeks to do this by use of tactics used during Communism to pervert the oldest Christian communion in the world.
OrthoChristian reports on what happened (emphasis added):
Attempts have been underway for years to take several buildings away from the Holy Dormition-Pochaev Lavra, one of the holiest sites in all of Ukrainian Orthodoxy, and the Lavra is under constant attack in the media, enduring much slander. As OrthoChristian reported on November 20, the Lavra brethren released a message in response to the latest media attacks and to the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture’s latest appeal to have the registration of several buildings to the monastery through January 1, 2052 revoked.
Then, on November 23, the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice satisfied the Ministry of Culture’s request and canceled the registration of the several buildings to the holy monastery, as the Union of Orthodox Journalists reported with reference to the Ministry of Justice’s website.
This serves to dislocate the monastics and clergy in residence at the Lavra now, and though no specific time is given for them to have to leave, the passionate zeal with which the schismatics and the Kyiv Government are moving means that anything could happen at any time. The monastics gave their response to this situation, some of which we have reprinted here, again with emphasis added:
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
With sorrow in our hearts, we appeal to you with a request to strengthen your prayerful vigil for the sake of the peace and unity of the faithful in the bosom of the canonical Church.
We are compelled to state that at present the Ukrainian authorities are using communist methods of battling against the Orthodox Church.
For example, about 100 years ago the Bolshevik leaders, especially L. D. Trotsky, and those with him, set themselves the task of creating an Orthodox Church organization under the control of the soviet authorities. Thus, there appeared the renovationist movement or the “Living Church.” One of the main ideas of this organization was the abolition of monasticism.
After the creation of the renovationist organization, the Bolsheviks began an active battle with the Orthodox Church which became outlawed. Under the slogan of “complicity in the counter-revolution,” churches and Church valuables were seized and harsh repressions were used against the clergy. It is worth noting that the schismatics-renovationists were supported by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
This, because the Patriarchate of Constantinople has been in support of the present turmoil in Ukraine, with Patriarch Bartholomew lighting the fuse when he uncanonically “restored” two anathematized and excommunicated hierarchs to the Church and set about creating an “autocephalous” church in Ukraine which only the anathematized “Patriarch” Filaret and the Ukrainian government were actually asking for. The monks’ letter continues:
This “Living Church” did not last for even thirty years but the canonical Church stands unwaveringly to this day.
Unfortunately, the new party leaders do not remember the lessons of history.
The authorities’ rhetoric has not changed for the past 100 years: The inhabitants of the Lavra remain for them “collaborators in the counter-revolution.” Using the controlled mass media, the current government plants this view in our Ukrainian people more and more every day.
Along with this, the Pochaev city council refused to comply with the legal decision of the court obliging it to transfer plots of land to the Holy Dormition-Pochaev Lavra for use as the brothers’ residential buildings.
At the present time, the Commission of the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice has annulled the registration of the agreement on the right of usage of the Dormition Cathedral, Holy Trinity Cathedral, monastic cells, the bell tower, the bishop’s residence, and the holy gates in response to the complaint of the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture. It should be noted that this is already the third attempt to the turn the holy site into a museum since 2000.
We believe that the Prosecutor’s Office is also trying to achieve a similar goal, having opened several groundless criminal cases in a short period of time.
In the context of the removal of the right of usage, the matter concerns the place of residence of 200 monks and 50 novices—people who have renounced the world and dedicated their entire lives to the service of God.
We must state that at the present time, the current Ukrainian authorities have taken a course towards confiscating property from the Holy Dormition-Pochaev Lavra and transferring it to the newly-created church organization, and consequently—towards the destruction of monasticism in western Ukraine.
To the Western reader, this may not sound like a big deal. Where does a religion fit into geopolitics? Yet the reader is asked to place their own viewpoints aside. In the Eastern Orthodox world, of which Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Syria, Palestine (occupied by Israel) and many other countries are a part, this is actually an issue of central importance. To attack the Orthodox Church is to attack the very life and soul of millions of people that live in the region.
The Orthodox Church has historically suffered massive martyrdom, most especially under Communism, and it looks like Ukraine is to be the next site of such atrocities, but this time more than before, the tactic of attacking the Church from within, as a “pseudo” Church with “progressive values” is tuned and intended to score a greater success than before.
Those who understand this situation are praying very hard that it does not go this way.