UPTs CALLS "PRAYER SERVICE" BY SCHISMATICS IN LAVRA A PROVOCATION OF FRINGE ELEMENTS
RIA Novosti, 13 March 2017
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow patriarchate [Ukrainskaia Pravoslavnaia Tserkov Moskovskogo Patriarkhata—UPTsMP] considers the attempt by representatives of the "Kiev patriarchate" to conduct a prayer service in the Dormition church of the chief monastery of Ukraine (Kiev caves lavra) to be a provocation that has nothing to do with Orthodox worship. This was reported to RIA Novosti by the head of the synod's News and Education Department of the UPTsMP, Bishop of Irpen Kliment.
On Sunday [12 March] a number of news media circulated information that about 200 persons, led by a priest of the Kiev patriarchate, which is not recognized in the Orthodox world, tried to conduct a worship service in the Kiev caves lavra, which belongs to the canonical Ukrainian church. According to reports, they used physical force on monks who tried to prevent them.
The UPTs MP has previously often reported instances of harassment of clergymen and seizures of Orthodox church buildings by representatives of the "Kiev patriarchate," often acting with the support of authorities and radical nationalist organizations.
"It is difficult to call what happened in the Dormition cathedral of the Kiev caves lavra a worship service. It was an absolute provocation by representatives of the so-called Kiev patriarchate. A group of people arrived in the guise of an ordinary excursion, and at some moment they began to create a kind of worship service with provocative petitions in their prayers. After some time, when officials pointed out to them that such a worship service must be authorized by the hierarchy, they began using physical force on the brothers of the lavra," the head of the synodal department said.
He said that the principal aim of the provocateurs was a video recording, which was quickly posted on the Internet and got great resonance. "For them, performing prayer was not important and getting benefit from prayer in the Dormition cathedral was not important; what they needed was to conduct a provocation with a video recording, which then could be distributed," Bishop Kliment emphasized.
He found it difficult to say whether one might expect a repeat of the action on the part of the schismatics, but he expressed the opinion that the creators of the provocation "have an extremely fringe status in the structure of the 'Kiev patriarchate.'" "I think that this initiative corresponds to the level of their culture, their spiritual and cultural level," the news agency's interlocutor concluded.
At present there are active in Ukraine the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UPTsMP), which is a self-administering church within the Moscow patriarchate, and also church structures that are not recognized by world Orthodoxy: the "Kiev patriarchate" (UPTsKP) and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (Ukrainskaia Avtokefalnaia Pravoslavnaia Tserkov--UAPTs). (tr. by PDS, posted 13 March 2017)
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