A court in Kiev put Metropolitan Bishop Pavel, vicegerent of the contested Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, under house arrest for 60 days and barred him from communicating with believers, media reported on Saturday
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 01st April, 2023) A court in Kiev put Metropolitan Bishop Pavel, vicegerent of the contested Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, under house arrest for 60 days and barred him from communicating with believers, media reported on Saturday.
The investigation found that starting February 24, 2022, metropolitan Pavel "decided to justify 'Russia's aggression,' being the vicegerent of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, by communicating with the parishioners of the monastery," the prosecutor was quoted as saying by the Union of Orthodox Journalists.
Earlier in the day, the media said that the prosecution sought a two-month house arrest with wearing an ankle monitor for metropolitan Pavel.
The court initially postponed the hearing until Monday, April 3, due to the metropolitan's poor health, but later reversed its decision and compelled his attendance.
On Saturday morning, metropolitan Pavel was presented with official suspicions of "collaboration with Russia and inter-religious incitement" after Ukrainian authorities conducted searches in his house. He then said that the Ukrainian authorities had sent him under house arrest. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) confirmed his indictment under two articles of the criminal code, specifically "violation of citizens' equality based on their race, nationality or religious preferences" and "justification, recognition as legitimate, denial of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, glorification of its participants."
Tensions between Kiev and the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) escalated after Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. On March 10, 2023, UOC monks were ordered to leave the monastery of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, jurisdiction over which was divided between a Ukrainian cultural organization and the UOC, by March 29 for violating the terms of an agreement on the use of state property. Ukrainian Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko said the monks could stay in the Lavra if they joined the schismatic Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), a decision that may be "stimulated through the joint work of specialists and law enforcement officers."