by the Press Service of the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary Concerning the Situation Around
the Academic Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos
Today, on 30 March 2023, at around 10:30 a.m., people who during communication with representatives of the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary called themselves a commission of the National Historical and Cultural Preserve “Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra” came to the church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos on the territory of the Kyiv Caves Lavra. The above persons stated their intent to examine the church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos. This church is presently active as an academic church and is under the direct jurisdiction of the Rector of the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary. That is why Archbishop Sylvester of Bilohorodka, the Rector of the Academy, came to communicate with the representatives of the Preserve. The Rector asked the representatives of the Preserve to introduce themselves and present documents on the grounds of which they were acting. The persons mentioned refused to call their surnames, names and positions. They also showed no documents certifying their right to carry out those actions. For that reason, the representatives of the Preserve were not allowed to enter the church.
The Kyiv Theological Academy does not deny the rights of employees of the Preserve to fulfil their work duties. However, all actions must take place within the legal framework and without violations of the laws of Ukraine in force.
During the work of the Interagency Working Group established under Resolution dated 23 December 2022 by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (No. 1416), which was engaged in checking buildings on the territory of the Kyiv Caves Lavra, the Kyiv Theological Academy granted to the members of that working group access to all the premises currently used by the Academy.
Nevertheless, we have not been provided with the official conclusions of the Interagency Working Group. That is why we do not know whether any complaints regarding the buildings used by the Kyiv Theological Academy were made. If there were such complaints, we do not know in what exactly they consisted. So, we cannot say how unbiased the conclusions of the Interagency Working Group were. That is exactly why we insist upon the complete transparency of all actions of the National Historical and Cultural Preserve “Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra”.