"As for the lavras, they are in state ownership and are only handed over to the monasteries of the Moscow Patriarchate for use. Our principled position is that these Ukrainian shrines will belong to the Ukrainian church through history, like the shrines in Russia, Romania, etc.," he told the Ukrainian news outlet Glavred on Oct. 19, Censor.NET reports citing UNIAN.
However, according to the archbishop, it is still premature to make predictions on property belonging of the lavras.
"It's too early to predict how it will happen. Most likely, by voluntary decision of the majority of monks of these monasteries. But one thing can be argued now with accuracy and full responsibility: this process will be without violence and won't lead to any negative consequences for the church and Ukraine.
"Perhaps this will happen in a year, three, five or 10 years. In fact, it's not so important. The point is that everyone is aware of the inevitability of this move completion and the need to respect non-violence principles," he said.
On April 17, 2018, President Poroshenko said Ukraine was closer than ever before to creating an autocephalous united local church.
On Sept. 2, hierarchs held meetings (Synaxis) of the Hierarchy of the Ecumenical Throne Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) to confirm that the Church of Constantinople is authorized, without the consent of other churches, to grant autonomy, or autocephaly, to a church that has requested it. This paves the way for autocephality of Ukraine's church. Further measures, such as the adoption of documents at the Synod, are expected to be taken in October.
Subsequently, on Sept. 7, Ecumenical Patriarchate has appointed two Exarchs in Kyiv as part of preparations for granting autocephaly to Ukraine's Orthodox church. "Within the framework of the preparations for the granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has appointed as its Exarchs in Kyiv His Excellency Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon from the United States, and His Grace Bishop Hilarion of Edmonton from Canada, both of whom are serving the Ukrainian Orthodox faithful in their respective countries under the Ecumenical Patriarchate," the Ecumenical Patriarchate said in an announcement.
On Sept. 25, the UOC-MP declared that it was demanding that the Patriarchate of Constantinople withdraw its exarchs from Ukraine. In particular, the Holy Synod of the UOC-MP at a meeting held in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra September 25, expressed its attitude regarding the appointment of the Exarchs of the Constantinople Patriarchate to Kyiv.
On Oct.11, 2018, Ecumenical Patriarchate has decided to proceed to the granting of autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine. In addition, the legal binding of Synod’s Letter of 1686 was abolished, thus pulling the Kyiv Metropolis from under Moscow jurisdiction. The Ecumenical Patriarchate also reinstated head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Philarchate Filaret and head of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church Makariy in their canonical status.
On Oct. 12, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) called for the episcopate, clergy and believers of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) to begin preparations for a unifying Council.
On Oct. 15, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church decided to break the eucharistic communication with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
On Oct. 18, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed the law on the transfer of the St. Andrew's Church to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople for perpetual free of charge usage.