Basilian Father: Ukrainian Greek Catholics Have More Grounds to Privatize Pochativ Monastery than UOC-Moscow Patriarchate

3 March 2012, 16:33 | UGCC | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

Greek Catholic monks of the Order of St Basil the Great expressed dissatisfaction with the possibility of privatization of the Pochayiv Monastery by the Moscow Patriarchate. They call Bill 9690, which envisages the transfer of the Kyiv Cave and Pochayiv Monasteries to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate, provocative. The Basilian monks state that they have more grounds to claim the Pochayiv Monastery than the monks of the Moscow Patriarchate.

“Virtually all the buildings of the monastery were built under the government of the Basilian Fathers. The famous Cathedral of Assumption, for example, was built with the funds donated by Mykola Pototskyi and ornamented with designs by Luka Dolynskyi,” said Fr. Ivan (Maikovych), who was the superior of the Buchach Basilian Monastery of the Holy Cross in Ternopil Region for many years.

The Pochyaiv Monastery was part of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church for more than a century. The “Uniates” ran there a printing house which published 200-300 books during that time and established a school for village children. In the 19th century, the Russian authorities accused the Greek Catholics of anti-czar actions and confiscated the monastery from them.

“In 1832, the Basilian monks were simply deported from the monastery and their cells were occupied by Orthodox monks,” said Fr. Ivan (Maikovych).

According to the priest, his association of monks made an unsuccessful attempt to regain the Pochayiv Monastery after the UGCC had emerged from the underground.

The Basilian priest stressed that Greek Catholics never disowned the shrine. They repeatedly approached the authorities asking for the return thereof.

“The monastery was not returned to us, as it was not so much about the restoration of justice as about politics. We seek justice legally. We do not call on Cossacks to win over the church building. We wish to declare before the people and the world that this shrine belonged to us,” noted the priest.

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