|December 30, 2006 - All Twenty Monasteries of Mount Athos sent His All Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew, a letter listing their objections to his actions which are in direct conflict with the teachings of the Orthodox Church. Some of the monasteries call for joining Esphigmenou Monastery in ceasing commemoration of Patriarch Bartholomew. |
An open letter from the Sketes, Kellia and Monastery fathers and monks who up to now had commemorated Patriarch Bartholomew but now demand cessation of his commemoration based upon uncanonical activities during the Pope's visti to Constantinople on November 30th 2006.
December 31, 2006 - Metropolitan (now Patriarch) Kyrill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, Head of the External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, wrote a letter to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, warning it "not to take any senseless actions and use force...." against the monks of Esphigmenou. The Moscow Patriarchate is the largest Orthodox Church with over 150 million members.
Photo to the left: His Eminence Metropolitan Kyrill, of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, Head of the External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate
December 26, 2006- After an outpouring of your calls, emails, letters and prayers the Greek Government has backed down from its plans to forcibly remove the monks from Esphigmenou this past weekend. Abbott Methodios and the monks of Esphigmenou Monastery thank you for your support and ask that you continue to contact the Greek Government to end the brutal embargo of food, medicine, heating fuel, mail and visitors in place since 2003.
|After monks supported by Patriarch Bartholomew brutally attacked the monks of Esphigmenou and sent them to the hospital, Ms. Dora Bakoyannis, the foreign minister of Greece, and the individual responsible for the Greek government on Mt. Athos, did not order the arrest of the violent perpetrators as is required by Greek law. She did not even have the courage to condemn the violent perpetrators of the attack or their spiritual sponsor, Patriarch Bartholomew. Instead, Ms. Bakoyannis, who like many Greek officials live in fear of the influence of Patriarch Bartholomew, simply said "we condemn these clashes and hope calm will prevail" as though somehow the problem was the clashes and not the gang of marauding, violent, sledge hammer wielding individuals that are known to Greek police under her control and are allowed to run rampant. |
It's no wonder Transparency International recently rated Greece behind Botswana and just above Namibia in its annual government corruption perception index. Greece has also been added to the list of countries that condone torture, by The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture.
Her solution was to immediately dispatch heavily armed Greek police to finish off the monks and remove this thorn in the side of Patriarch Bartholomew, so she can please him, and turn over this property to his violent followers - a group of five men who have repeatedly attacked the defenseless Esphigmenou monks. Apparently Ms. Bakoyannis, has forgotten her oath of office and instead seeks only to please Patriarch Bartholomew, a Turkish citizen, who is already exporting violent religious extremism from his Muslim homeland to the previously peaceful and idyllic monastic community of Mt. Athos, Greece.
DECEMBER 20, 2006
ESPHIGMENOU MONKS ATTACKED, HOSPITALIZED
Mount Athos, Greece - In a brutal an unprovoked attack, members of Patriarch Bartholomew's brotherhood launched a pre-dawn assault on the Esphigmenou administrative headquarters building in Karyes, breaking down the door with sledge hammers, and assaulting the defenseless Esphigmenou monks inside, sending four to the hospital. Fathers Cleopas, Mardarios, Chrysostom and Ambrosios were hospitalized at Polygero Hospital, 500 miles north of Athens, after having been attacked with crowbars and sledgehammers. According to the attending physician, Dr. Athanaseos Papageorgiou, Fr. Ambrosios, has multiple bodily injuries including a fractured skull and remains hospitalized in serious condition.
The attackers have been emboldened by the direct, personal support they enjoy from Patriarch Bartholomew. Bartholomew has anointed these men who embrace violence and launched the attack as his chosen brotherhood to replace the peaceful and defenseless monks who have resided in the monastery for over 1500 years. In another example of his backwardness, and his departure from Orthodox Christian teachings, Patriarch Bartholomew refers to the violent attackers as his children those that the Esphigmenou monks they have attacked and brutalized with violence, as “rebels”. Already over five “rebel” monks have been sent to their graves during this siege, and now four more have been sent to the hospital. You do not need to be a theologian to understand that Patriarch Bartholomew has totally abandoned a Christian mindset and has embraced a crusader-like mentality that views violence as a means to an end. The true orthodox church always has, and always will, reject violence as a means to an end. It is not the "rebel" monks of Esphigmenou who need to return to the fold, as they have never departed from Christian teaching, it is Patriarch Bartholomew and his followers who embrace violence who need to return to the fold of Orthodox Christianity.
|An Esphigmenou monk is transferred to the hospital by ambulance following the violent attack by individuals supported by Patriarch Bartholomew of Istanbul (AP Photo)|
NOVEMBER 29, 2006 - The monks have sent a letter to Patriarch Bartholomew and to the Holy Community on Mt. Athos which does his bidding, asking them to lift the blockade of food on the monastery. They have told Esphigmenou they will not lift the blockade of food, unless the monks agree to receive the food as private individuals rather than who they are, the monks of the Holy and Sacred Monastery of Esphigmenou. Patriarch Bartholomew has ignored this request, as he has ignored every other request by the monks for dialogue.
|OCTOBER 21, 2006 - The Greek government has backed down as the Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis overruled the local prosecutor who had called in over 200 Special Forces Police, and ruled out any aggressive action this weekend. The Police cut the lock to the gate of the Esphigmenou property, and allowed Patriarch Bartholomew to enter the Esphigmenou lot adjacent to their building to do a holy water service and save face for his imposter brotherhood. Thank you for all of your phone calls and e-mails, which shows the Greek government is at least somewhat responsive to the pressure that you have brought by contacting them from all over the world to protest the horrendous actions they were about to take.|
OCTOBER 23, 2006 - The day we celebrate the blessed memory of the martyrs of Zografou Monastery on Mt. Athos. Like the monks of Esphigmenou, they resisted their Patriarch who sought to bring the Orthodox Church under papal rule. As Orthodox Christians we fervently desire that the Roman Catholic Church return back to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, which has never lost the Truth or its unity. But Patriarch Bartholomew, like Patriarch Bekkos, does not share this mindset. The monks of Zografou paid for their beliefs with their lives and were burned alive in the tower of their monastery on Mt. Athos where they had locked themselves in. This was done at the hands of the Patriarch of Constantinople, John Bekkos. Much like the current Patriarch, he enjoyed all the rights, privileges and honors of being Patriarch of Constantinople, and used that power for his own political purposes. Patriarch Bekkos, the Ecumenical Patriarch, the first among equals, he who sat in the Phanar, was, of course condemned for heresy. What awaits this Patriarch? Click here to read more about Zografou
|OCTOBER 20, 2006 - The Greek government deployed over 200 heavily armed Special Forces Police to Mt. Athos in preparation to forcibly remove the monks from their monastery home. Unwilling to wait for the Esphigmenou monks to have their case heard before an appeals court, the Greek government, acting as the private army of Patriarch Bartholomew, wanted to clear out the monks before the Patriarch visits. The local prosecutor, Vasilis Florides (tel: +30-697-388-5888), threatened "grave actions" against anyone who protests the Patriarch's actions. Mr. Florides has threatened the assistant abbot of Esphigmenou that "we will finish you off in 10 minutes." Click here for Press Release|
|OCTOBER 18, 2006 - Patriarch Bartholomew was on Mt Athos this weekend to lay a cornerstone for a new monastery for the imposter brotherhood of Esphigmenou. Hoping to ignore the legitimate brotherhood of Esphigmenou, which has been in existence for 1500 years, the Patriarch attempts to re-write history and simply blot them from existence. Rather than engage the legitimate Esphigmenou monks in dialogue, which they have repeatedly requested, he ignores them, and pressures the Greek government to do his bidding in persecuting them out of existence. He engages in dialogue with all other religions, but with his fellow Orthodox Christians, he offers not words, but the acts of a persecutor.|
OCTOBER 13, 2006 - An open letter from Bishop Stephen, primate of the Italo-Greek Orthodox Church, asking in filial love, the Patriarch to end his persecution of his fellow Orthodox Christians, the monks of Esphigmenou.
“Your treatment and persecution of the monks of Esphigmenou is a scandal to the Church and an embarrassment to all Orthodox Christians throughout the world. It sullies the good name of the Orthodox Church . . . Such behavior and acts are barbaric and take us back to the Dark Ages and for this Your All-Holiness should be deeply ashamed”
October 11, 2006 - Thessalonica, Greece. A dark day for religious freedom in Greece as the government sentenced each of the monks to TWO YEARS in jail. Against all supporting evidence, the court found the monks guilty of the absurd charge of "disturbing the peace" and of being "illegal occupants" of their monastery home of 1500 years. The monks are appealing this outrageous decision, which is an assault on the values of freedom of religion, one of the pillars of modern, civilized Europe See Press Release
September 23, 2006 - BBC World News does another report on the upcoming court proceedings for the Esphigmenou monks. It says the Greek government will jail monks and continue persecuting them. The monks face up to five years in jail for staying in their monastery. Click here to view the BBC report
September 15, 2006 - For the fourth year in a row, the US Government has cited Greece for its abuse of the Esphigmenou monks. Click here to see the excerpt from the State Department's International Religious Freedom Report regarding Esphigmenou.
"There is no more fundamental issue for the United States than freedom of religion and religious conscience. This country was founded on that basis, and it is at the heart of democracy."
September 20, 2006
September 20, 2006
Patriarch Bartholomew wants illegal eviction kept under wraps. He worked hard to keep it under wraps. It took us 4 years to get a hold of this document!
Video- Esphigmenou building being attacked with sledgehammers by imposter monks of Patriarch Bartholomew After publicly saying they would not use aggressive tactics against the monks, the Patriarch's imposter brotherhood uses a sledge hammer to break into an Esphigmenou building and injure three monks, one nearly fatally. To this day, even though the attacker is known to the authorities, he has not been punished by the Greek Government as the law calls for, nor reprimanded by the Patriarch for his criminal and unchristian act.
GREEK GOVERNMENT TO MONKS: "DROP DEAD"
So far 5 monks have died during the blockade of the monastery. Only 100 more to go before the Patriarch and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis achieve their goal of emptying the monastery and "cleansing" Mt. Athos of those who disagree with Patriarch Bartholomew of Istanbul. Among the dead are Fr. Tryfon, Fr. Timothy, Fr. Antypas, and Fr. Kosmas
|Audio-BBC World News Report on Esphigmenou (aired Nov 13-20, 2005)|
Click here to view one of the 99 summons sent by the secular Greek court of Thessalonica to the Esphigmenou Monks to appear in court and defend themselves against the ecumenist Patriarch's accusations that they are schismatic. While Patriarch Bartholomew recognizes the Latin Church and its clergy as having grace, and their sacraments as valid, he condemns Orthodox monks as schismatics. This court case shows his clear contradiction in faith. The Greek government should not interfere in church affairs. The case, which would have been thrown out of court in any modern, civilized country, was heard on September 29, 2006. The monks stood trial for their beliefs and were found GUILTY, just like in the Spanish Inquisition.