Greece refuses visa to bishop of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg, September 10, 2018

The Greek consulate in Russia has denied a visa to His Eminence Metropolitan Barsanuphius of St. Petersburg and Ladoga, the chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate.

His Eminence has gone on pilgrimage to Mt. Athos many times in the past and has never been denied a Schengen visa before, reports TASS.

Several Russian priests also recently raised concerns about being denied visas or being offered only short-term visas to Greece, as previously reported.

Met. Barsanuphius is the first hierarch to report being denied a visa.

This is a recent diplomatic development, following the expulsion of two Russian diplomats from Greece. No official reason for the expulsions was given, though media reports indicate that it was due to supposed Russian intervention in Greek internal affairs, including working for the return of Russian Church property illegally confiscated by the Greek state after the collapse of the Russian Empire.

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