Kiev, December 6, Interfax - The Ukrainian authorities are using the methods of the repressive Soviet machinery to obtain autocephaly, according to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
"It seems to me that the last time the Kiev Pechersk Lavra was searched was under Stalin. I don't know what law enforcement officers' purpose was when they chose that site. The same happened in the Zhitomir Region, when searches were conducted and they never said what they had found, what they had seized, and whom they were accusing," Archbishop Kliment, the head of the Information and Education Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, said in an interview published on the website of the organization Kiev-Orthodoxy on Facebook.
He was commenting on the inventory of property, including holy things, which is now being conducted in many churches of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
There are many reports that "state officials and authorities of the highest level are resorting to insults, threats, some other things, which are absolutely incompatible with the observance of fundamental rights," he said.
The archbishop also said the fact that the Ukrainian state has canceled the re-registration of the Pochayev Lavra as illegal constitutes asset-grabbing.
"This is officially asset-grabbing, because no reserve ever built the Pochayev Lavra, no culture ministry ever invested one kopeck in the restoration of the lavra, the state did nothing to keep the lavra in its current state. The state destroyed the lavra, it turned it into a psychiatric hospital, a hospital for some infectious diseases, etc. And the state didn't do anything else. And now they're just saying it all belongs to the state," the archbishop said.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church representative said he is perplexed by the fact that Ukrainian officials on the highest level are already congratulating citizens, saying that "they have the tomos, they have autocephaly, everything is written, and they will have everything very soon."
"I don't understand what they want from us. If they already have everything, good, if it makes someone feel good, we're happy for other people. Why do they have to force us using such brutal methods? No one is talking to us at all, they believe they can just break us. I don't think that's a way the state should have dialogue with religious organizations," the archbishop said.