The New York Times
The Executive Editor November 07, 2005
Re: Esfigmenou Monastery – Mt. Atho, GREECE
We wish to bring to your attention the drama which is unfolding again over the status of the Monastery of Esfigmenou, in Mt. Atho of Greece.
This is a second more vehement and determined effort to expel the handful of monks who are defenseless and administratively exposed to the well-framed legal argument of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Tactics employed are reminiscent of white collar criminal behavior in which the act, although immoral, is performed under the auspices of a legalistic subterfuge and therefore it is thought defensible. So, the Patriarchate has found that it can administratively starve the monks, deprive them of their medication, expose them to the elements, etc. and we, as free, democratic, judicious and compassionate people, are supposed to myopically accept that?
As you may be aware, this dispute is on dogma and it effectively came into existence in 1923.
However, the issue, irrespective of the source and the particulars of the incipient disagreement between the Patriarchate and Mt. Atho, is the insensitivity, callousness, temperament and the less than Christian tactics which the Patriarchate of Constantinople seems to have regressed to in silencing those monks’ voice and standing vis a vis issues of dogma.
This event places a call upon you, the ultimate frontier of democratic values, to bring this issue to the public forum, disclosing the happenings. This is as important of an event as any other in which the weak and the powerless are being suppressed and muffled by the strong and connected.
In 2003, a similar attempt was undertaken to force those monks out of the Monastery. The story was published in the main media and it is believed that the perpetrators then felt the embarrassment and fearing the public uproar ceased and desisted. But now, after two years, the Monastery is being besieged again. The Patriarchate, in collusion with the Greek government, is plotting against this particular monastery because it is the only one, among the twenty of them that make up the cluster of Mt. Atho, that resists the modernization efforts of the Patriarchate. The Greek government has become the stooge and it is completely in the employ of a whimsical and suspicious Patriarchate.
This event merits exposure and further investigation by the media forum!
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