Mt. Athos, February 6, 2019
Archimandrite Ephraim, the abbot of the Athonite Monastery of Vatopedi who suffered a heart attack in Kiev, underwent heart surgery yesterday in a foreign clinic, reports the Russian site Tsargrad and the Greek site Romfea.
Following coronagraph examinations, doctors performed a balloon angioplasty surgery to insert two stents in a clogged coronary artery in the abbot’s heart. Five stents were inserted during his previous operation a year and a half ago.
Doctors have advised Fr. Ephraim to rest and remain in the clinic for heart monitoring.
He had arrived in Kiev, under an ultimatum from Constantinople, to participate in the enthronement of “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko, the head of the Ukrainian schismatic church, in the delegation representing the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Sacred Community of Mt. Athos had voted against sending its own delegation, though five monasteries did vote in favor. However, as Fr. Ephraim’s monastery, Vatopedi, was not among those that voted to go, and as Fr. Ephraim is known to be very close to the canonical Ukrainian Church and has spoken out against the Ukrainian schismatics in the past, it was widely speculated that his heart attack in Kiev was faked so that he wouldn’t have to attend the illegitimate enthronement.
However, despite Fr. Ephraim’s absence, Vatopedi was still represented by Hieromonk Maximos. Xenophontos Monastery was also represented by its abbot Archimandrite Alexios, and Koutloumousiou Monastery was represented by Hieromonk Chrysostomos from its St. Panteleimon’s Skete.
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