Kiev, October 26 – The leader of the self-proclaimed Kiev Patriarchate, Philaret Denisenko, expressed his confidence that over time the Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras, that are now under jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate, will join the unified Local Church of Ukraine, which is currently being created by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
“I believe that the lavras will join the Ukrainian Church sooner or later. How much time will be needed for that? I don’t know the answer. But I have no doubt that they will be in the Ukrainian church because these are Ukrainian holy places. If today’s monks don’t want to go over to the Ukrainian Church, let them stay. […] The time will come when they will want to go over to the Ukrainian Church. They will go over voluntarily, without any violence. For now we will be patient. […] We have been patient for a long time and we will stay patient,” Philaret, 89, said at a briefing in Kiev on Friday.
He stressed that the transition to the unified Local Church from the Russian Orthodox Church can only happen voluntarily.
“The brethren of the lavras should choose the Ukrainian Church voluntarily,” Philaret added.