Mt. Athos, July 2, 2020
The abbot of the Holy Monastery of Koutloumousiou, one of the 20 ruling monasteries of Mt. Athos, announced on Monday that is he stepping down from his duties.
Elder Archimandrite Christodoulos, 78, made the announcement to a synaxis of the brotherhood of the monastery, who accepted his resignation, reports the Orthodoxia News Agency.
The agency earlier reported that Fr. Christodoulos intended to step down due to health problems. He spends most of his time away from Mt. Athos, especially undergoing dialysis in Thessaloniki, according to ethnos.gr.
Fr. Christodoulos, from Damia, Evia, has been a monk of Koutloumousiou for 45 years. His abbacy is associated with a new period of growth and flowering for the monastery.
The eldest member of the brotherhood, Hieromonk Nicholas, was appointed acting abbot, with the vote for the new abbot scheduled for July 12.
Koutloumousiou, located not far from the Athonite capital of Karyes, is ranked 6th in the hierarchy of the 20 ruling monasteries.
The monastery dates to at least the 12th century, with the first written mention of the monastery coming from 1169. It is known for its library, containing more than 900 manuscripts and 3,500 printed books, and it is said to possess the largest piece of the True Cross.
Today, there are about 25 brothers at the monastery.