Abbess of the Grodno Stauropygial Convent in Belarus Gavriila (Glukhova) received the Order of St. Olga – first degree”, which was presented to her by Metropolitan Veniamin of Minsk, Exarch of the Moscow Patriarchate in Belarus.
Abbess Gavriila is known for her loyalty to the Lukashenko regime and her support for Putin’s actions.
The influential abbess contributed to the replacement of the local Grodno Metropolitan Artemiy (Kishchenko), who in his sermon criticized the pogrom against Lukashenko protesters in 2020. In her monastery, she organized a petition for his removal. Metropolitan Artemius was removed from his post by order of the regime and a loyal metropolitan – Antony (Doronin) – was appointed in his place. (His first order to the clergy after the invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine at the end of February this year, including through the territory of Belarus, was: “I forbid you to pray for Ukraine.”)
The abbess’s efforts to support the actions of Lukashenko and Putin were rewarded with an order. Today, the nun describes with trepidation her excitement upon receiving it:
“When Bishop Veniamin read the patriarch’s decree on the order of Princess Olga, I humbly listened. But when he said it was a “first degree order”… my legs gave out a little. Abbesses can usually receive the third degree, and the more important and industrious ones – the second degree. And for me, the ordinary provincial abbess, far from the center – first degree… And only at number eight! It turned out that only seven people got it before me! Even now, some time later, I still can’t make sense of it. But this is the right and personal decision of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill. I offer him my deepest thanks and filial gratitude. Now I have to think about how to work to justify such a high trust.”
Abbess Gavriila still uses every opportunity to make a public appearance to denounce Lukashenko’s opponents. Her speeches are so emotional that in the midst of protests in Belarus she had to apologize for her insults to the thousands of protesters against the authoritarian regime, whom she called “non-people, sectarians and crowds of lunatics who, like an enraged herd, ring our capital with their devilish screams “. She stated that all the anti-Lukashenko protesters are fighting for children not to have a mother and a father, but “parent 1” and “parent 2”. Her words caused a scandal and she had to apologize “to all those affected”. In her words, she has always been “far from politics, but simply supports peace and morality in her homeland.”