Thursday, April 6, 2017

Post-Crete event argument intensifies on Mt. Athos

( - The situation has intensified on Mt. Athos after more than fifty cells ceased commemoration during the Divine services of His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew, the ruling bishop of the Holy Mountain, reports AgionOros.

The more than one hundred monastics inhabiting these cells have taken this step in response to the documents of last year’s council on Crete, and the general path of the heresy of Ecumenism, which has concerned them for many years, thus “walling themselves off” but without committing the grave sin of schism, as has Esphigmenou Monastery.

This distinction between walling off and schism is explained, in a text from the Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries, also available at Mystagogy from 2013, regarding Esphigmenou Monastery:

Other predominant Monasteries have also interrupted the commemoration of the Patriarch at times and are cautious about the future, however, none of them has ever interrupted ecclesiastical communion nor has any ever acceded to an ecclesiastical communion with outside ecclesiastical groups—and of course none of them has ever been persecuted. On the Holy Mountain there are other zealot monks, who however live peacefully in their cells, without disturbing the Canonicity and the Statutes of the Holy Mountain.

Although non-commemorators have been left in peace in the past, these roughly one hundred monks have received notification that they must leave their cells. However, many of the monks have declined to voluntarily leave their habitations.

In July of last year, an open letter was composed by over sixty Athonite hieromonks and monks, led by the disciple of St. Paisios the Athonite, Elder Gabriel of Karyes, and sent to the governing Sacred Community of Mt. Athos, listing twelve points of divergence between the Crete Council and Orthodox Tradition, and calling for the council to be condemned. Without such a condemnation, they would be forced to cease commemoration of the patriarch in the services, wrote the monks, including inhabitants of the Great Lavra, Vatopedi, Hilandar, Pantocrator, Koutloumousiou, Stavronikita, and Philotheou Monasteries, and monks and elders of Karoulia, Kapsala, and various sketes.

For its part, in November of last year, Mt. Athos’ Sacred Community composed a document in response to the conciliar documents of Crete, concluding that, “The documents of the Crete Council must overcome their one-sidedness which is due to the neglect of the theological tradition, traced by the modern God-bearing elders and authoritative theologians, who have looked upon the path of ecumenical dialogue as an ecumenistic deviation from truth. Not only the so-called ‘zealots’ but also sound voices seek the words of truth, to find and ensure rest.”

At that time, the Sacred Community wrote that cessation of Church hierarchy is “unjustified for now.”


  1. This would be a very good time for representatives of the Patriarchate to be engaging in a serious dialogue with the monks of Mt. Athos. But the Roman church gets dialogue, the monks under the Patriarchate's mantle get orders.

  2. Do we know who authorized and who conveyed the notification that these monks must leave their cells?

    1. You should ask whether any of this takes place irl.

  3. Likewise there is no "dialogue of love" with the True Orthodox. Elder Philotheos Zervakos suggested that the EP should attempt to heal the schism within the Greek Church that his predecessors brought about first, THEN go to those outside.

  4. Indeed. I once had a Serbian deacon tell me,"The Greek Old Calendarists are outside the church." It would be interesting to find out if the same deacon(now a priest) considers the Papacy to be part of the church. The EP apparently thinks so!

  5. Sometime the EP should take a survey to see just how many of his "diaspora" pay the slightest attention to anything said or done by their bishop, let alone a patriarch. I have a hunch most people care about their parish only, which is awfully sensible. As for Athonite monks who wear their commemoration habits on their sleeve, a heartfelt yawn. God bless them. I agree with their concerns but the laity have a LOT more clout if they choose to use it. They write checks....Or don't. That will get the attention of even the low IQ of a bishop. Nobody kicks laity out of parishes, that thuggery is for patriarchs and monks.

  6. Boris,

    Zealous Orthodox scandalized by ecu-mania are outside the Church with no Mysteries but Nestorian, Monophysites, Nestorians and Protestants have been cataphatically declared to have Sacraments and be part of the Church. One is in the Church as long as he don't resist syncretist ecumenism.


    The laity definitely get kicked out parishes, and their parishes get closed too. It's happened very recently in the GOA and ROCOR having nothing to do with reasons of faith.