Patriarch Bartholomew wants illegal eviction kept under wraps.  It took us 4 years to get a hold of this document!



+ Bartholomew +

By the mercy of God, Archbishop of Constantinople and New Rome

(in Byzantine Scroll)

Protocol Number 1110

Reverend overseers and representatives of the Holy Mountain , beloved children of my Humbleness in the Lord, grace be upon your Reverends and peace from God.

My Humbleness and the Holy and Sacred Synod with me are duty bound by fatherly concern for the good order and canonical functioning of the Sacred Royal and Patriarchal and Stavropegial Esphigmenou Monastery on the Holy Mountain.  For thirty whole years the uncanonical seizure of Esphigmenou Monastery has defamed these Scared Grounds and set a bad example for both those in (the monastery) who may be living a life of asceticism and for those Christians living outside. Therefore they have been notified of our Patriarchal and Synodal decision which has been forwarded to them. In this decision we refer by name to those who are arbitrarily in possession of the said Holy Monastery. We state that those who are illegally presenting themselves as the members of the brotherhood are schismatics, cut off by their own will from the communion with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church. Further, we inform them that we have imposed upon them the Canonical punishment of excommunication and that they have been cut off from the ecclesiastical spiritual communion and relations with the canonical Orthodox Church until their sincere repentance and return.

This official decision which defines these persons as schismatics entails grave consequences. Let be known that Article 5 of the Charter of Mount Athos and the 105 (Article) of the Greek Constitution denies them the right to live on the Holy Mountain.  Therefore, we urge you our beloved Reverends, to act in consort with all the state assets and those in charge of Mount Athos and elsewhere, to move against them, and to discreetly expel them from this place and require them to turn over to you any papers they may have in their possession which would permit their return and which would allow them to enter and stay on the Holy Mountain.

May Godís grace and infinite mercy be with your Reverends.

December 14, 2002

O Constantinopoleos, fervent prayers to God.  (Scroll writing)

Original Letter Greek