The Monastery of Esphigmenou is being persecuted because it refuses to recognize Mr. Bartholomew as the canonical Patriarch. This persecution is UNJUST, however, because Mr. Bartholomew is a leader of the heresy of Ecumenism and TRAMPLES ON THE HOLY CANONS AND THE HOLY TRADITION OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH. Not only does he trample on the Holy Canons, but in his PhD Dissertation (page 73) he also suggests that they be changed, so as to make it legal for him to have joint prayers with the Pope of Rome and other heretics, who have been officially excommunicated by the Orthodox Church.
In addition to making various heretical statements, Mr. Bartholomew consistently and on purpose violates the relevant Holy Canons (e.g., 10, 11, 45, 46, 47, 65 of the Holy Apostles, 33 of the Laodicea Local Synod), because he wants to change the traditional canonical law, so that he can unite the various churches, despite their dogmatic differences. (This is the heresy of Ecumenism in a nutshell.)
Now, since the Holy Canons are protected by the Greek Constitution (Article 3), I think that it is the duty of the Government to at least stop Mr. Bartholomew from persecuting those who strive to keep the Holy Tradition intact. The Government mustn't allow Mr. Bartholomew, who violates both the Ecclesiastical and the secular law, to persecute those who simply refuse to comply with his illegal behavior. They have the right to do so, according to the 15th Holy Canon of the so called "A and B" Holy Synod (861 A.D.). The Ecclesiastical History is full of examples of Saints who have done the same in similar circumstances. The irony is that Mr. Bartholomew, who, as I wrote above, tramples on the Holy Canons, nonetheless cites the 13th Canon of the "A and B" Synod to punish those who actively criticize his illegal behavior!!!
We all know from our history that Mr. Bartholomew's illegal behavior can easily lead to schisms and other deleterious consequences for our nation. So, what is the Greek Government going to do? Is she going to stop the patriarch who works against the interests of our nation, or take his side by simply watching his destructive work?
Assistant Professor Department of Economics
University of Ioannina
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