2019-02-11 11:01:00

Athos monks moving to Russian monastery in protest against communication with new Ukrainian church

Moscow, February 11, Interfax - After the Athos Monastery of Vatopedi has received bishop of the new church of Ukraine (OCU) Pavel Yuristy, seven monks of this monastery have left it and moved to the Russian St. Panteleimon Monastery, which is also situated on the Holy Mount.

These are Russian, Ukrainian and Moldovan monks of the Vatopedi Monastery, a source with the Moscow Patriarchate told Interfax on Sunday. It has been reported that among ethnic Greeks, who reside in the Vatopedi Monastery, there are quite a lot of those, who are extremely discontent with the monastery leadership's stance and view representatives of the new Ukrainian church as schismatics.

"In all, four Athos monasteries, namely the Xenophontos, Pantokratoros, New Esphigmenou and Vatopedi monasteries, have already begun communication with the new Ukrainian church today," the source said.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew ordered that a delegation of the new church visit all of the Athos monasteries, rector of the Moscow Theological Academy Archbishop Amvrosy said.

"We see Athos monasteries joining schismatics one by one and unbelievably betraying Orthodox believers in Ukraine, who are being persecuted, blackmailed, beaten, and driven away from their favorite churches [...] The enemy of the humankind is sneering at people at such an intricate way!" the rector of the academy wrote on Telegram.

On December 15, 2018, the unification assembly was held in Kiev, where the Ukrainian authorities backed by the Patriarchate of Constantinople established a church, which became independent from the Moscow Patriarchate and united representatives of non-canonical churches. As of now, not a single local Orthodox Church, except for the Patriarchate of Constantinople, recognized the OCU and sent its delegation to attend the enthronization of the OCU primate.