This latest act of cultural genocide in Ukraine is being committed against a Monastery of the legitimate Ukrainian Orthodox Church which is lead by a US citizen, Archimandrite Gideon, who was decorated as a former US Navy chaplain according to the Union of Orthodox Journalists.
The Tithes Monastery is a new (2007) structure built on site of possibly the most ancient Russian Church in the world. See their website here, or better yet, take this beautiful virtual tour! In 2006, believers witness that they saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary at a service in a tent on the site of the current church.
The attack on this land by Ukrainian nationalists follows in the tradition of none other than Vladimir Lenin, whom they claim to despise. A similar attack on the same grounds was conducted by the Bolsheviks before in history, as we discuss further in the article.
We just reported on the attack against the Tithes Monastery by Ukrainian radicals of the C14 fascist organization. Despite being attacked by would-be arsonists who wished to kill the Orthodox believers, the Brotherhood responded in a way exemplifying how Christians should treat to those who hate them – with love and forgiveness.
This is following the example set by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev, and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, who both urge Ukrainians to end the conflict and forgive one another.
The Union of Orthodox Journalists, as well as various Ukrainian and Russian language sources, have announced the Kiev city council will be recommending that the mayor of Kiev slate the monastery for demolition, on the false pretext that it is not legally registered.
Even if that were true as a legal technicality, that would be like Rome threatening to demolish the Vatican walls, because their coding was out of date. This is a deliberate attack against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, because she maintains the proper canonical union with the Moscow Patriarchate. The Union of Orthodox Journalists report:
On February 9 at the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Kiev City Council on urban development, architecture and land use all 18 present deputies supported the petition with an appeal to demolish Tithes church. It is reported by ”Radio Svoboda”.
The deputies recommended that mayor of Kiev Vitaliy Klichko support the petition and “instruct the structural units of the executive body of the Kiev City Council to take all measures envisaged by the current legislation aimed at eliminating offenses as soon as possible.”
On January 25 representatives of the “C14” and other right-wing radical organizations together with MP Igor Lutsenko committed an assault of the Desiatinny Monastery. At night, two radicals tried to set fire to the temple, for which they were arrested. During the detention, they shouted at the monastery’s brethren: “I’ll burn you, b*tch! You’re a KGB officer. I’ll kick you now, okay? You are a slut that has no place here; I tell you this in Russian. To you, clowns in skirts, there is no respect.”
On February 1, at the meeting in the building of the committees of the Verkhovna Rada, which Igor Lutsenko had assembled, one of the “activists” again promised to demolish the church if the authorities did not do it.
On February 3 believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church gathered for the joint prayer at Tithes Monastery of the Nativity of the Theotokos in Kiev. The brethren called on the faithful to get united to protect the temple from radicals.
Not only is this new attack against the Monastery tragic, but it is ironic how Ukrainian nationalists who despise communism, as you can see from their language above, are following in the path of the Bolsheviks – history repeats itself it seems.
A firm question must be posed to the Ukrainian nationalists: Who do you hate your fatherland? How can you follow in the path of Lenin and Batu Khan (of the Mongol Horde) while screaming “Glory to Ukraine!” You are destroying whatever glory and honor remain in the Ukraine, by destroying the roots of Rus’ civilization, which Ukraine shares with Russia and Belarus!
The story of the Tithes Church is filled with tears, it seems like ever since the fall of Kiev in 1240, an evil fate just doesn’t want a Church on this territory to stand. Every single church built on this territory was demolished, only the Tithes Monastery remains.
The first Tithes Church was built by the greatest of all Russian Rulers, the founder of Holy Russia – Vladimir Equal-to-the-Apostles, when the High-King (Grand Prince) of Kiev set aside a tithe of his income, to build the first magnificent stone structure in Rus, just before the end of the first millennia. Saint Vladimir’s Church was raised to the ground by the Mongol Horde in 1240 during the Fall of Kiev. The church contained at one time the relics of Pope Saint Clement I, the first century Saint martyred in Crimea, which was brought by Saints Cyril and Methodius, the Apostles to the Slavs and inventors of the Cyrillic alphabet.
Its depressing ruins all covered in ash became a symbol of Kiev – one of Europes greatest capitols ruined by the Mongols. The ruins fit well with the Slavic spirit of melancholy, both a testimony to former glory and to the sad reality of contemporary life – fitting as well in modern Ukraine.
Various attempts to rebuild it have all failed to capture the former glory, like the one by Saint Petro Mohyla, Metropolitan of Kiev in the 17th century.
By far the most successful reconstruction was the one in the 19th century, however, it was built in the distinctive Neo-Byzantine Russian Revival style, instead of the more accurate Paelo-Byzantine style of the Ur-Tithes Church.
Regardless if the triumphant Church did not resemble the historical one, it lasted as a beautiful landmark of Kiev, until its demolition by Bolsheviks in the early 20th century. Since then, talk of restoring the Tithes Church was always of great importance to Orthodox Christians, as well as Slavists with an interest in the historical value. The current wooden Church was built on the grounds in 2007, with the blessing His Beatitude, Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine of Thrice Blessed Memory.
In 2006, believers gathered to celebrate Easter in a tent on the spot, when they said the Virgin Mary appeared to them.
As a result, the current Church was constructed in 2007, a stone throw away from the site of the actual ruins of the Tithes Church.
The Tithes Church may be small, but it is precious to believers. Some architecture experts have warned reconstructing a Church of the magnitude of the original would clash with the Baroque Andrews Church, built on the site with the Apostle of Christ Saint Andrew preached, especially if it is built in Byzantine style.
The argument falls flat, in that the reconstruction of the ancient Church of the Tithes supersedes any recent projects in it’s importance to Kiev and all Russia. One may make the parallel that this would be the Russian equivalent of rebuilding Solomon’s temple, and it seems the circumstances surrounding it are equally apocalyptic.
The Tithes monastery may not be as glorious as the old Tithes Church, but it’s the only little legacy we have left. Demolishing it is literally, not figuratively, but literally following in the footsteps of the Bolsheviks, whom the nationalists claim to hate. If the monastery is again raised to the ground, it’s like destroying Kievan Rus a second time.
If Ukrainian nationalists succeed in having it demolished, this is not only a massive step backward for Ukraine, but an insult to God’s Mother, and the greatest ruler of Kiev, Saint Vladimir, in honor of whom the Tithes Monastery is dedicated.
Please spread the word, and raise awareness before it’s too late, and Kiev yet again falls into the ashen quagmire of ruin.
It’s not too late to save the Monastery, but there may be only one hope…
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.