Mt. Athos, January 29, 2019
The Sacred Community of Mt. Athos resolved at an extraordinary session yesterday, January 28, to reject Patriarch Bartholomew’s request that they send a delegation to the enthronement of Constantinople’s schismatic Ukrainian primate, “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko, in Kiev on February 3.
The Holy Mountain is under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
According to Romfea, 13 of the 20 ruling monasteries on the Mountain voted against participating in the schismatic enthronement. However, that also means that a full 7 monasteries support the idea of participating in the enthronement, thus confirming earlier reports that Mt. Athos is divided on the issue, though the Sacred Community was able to make a majority decision.
The Athonites’ decision has troubled Constantinople, as the inhabitants of the Mountain have thus far refused to support one or another side of the religious conflict in Ukraine and continue to maintain a balance.
It was reported in November that several Greek monasteries on Mt. Athos added a special petition to the Litany of Peace in all of their services to specifically pray for His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, the head of the canonical Ukrainian Church, and for his much-suffering flock.
Individual abbots have also spoken out over the past few years, most recently Archimandrite Parthenios (Murelatos), one of the oldest inhabitants of the Holy Mountain and the abbot of the Monastery of St. Paul, who expressed his belief that the Ukrainian Church should maintain its unity with the Moscow Patriarchate.
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