Seven monks leave Vatopedi Monastery on Mt. Athos after visit of Ukrainian schismatic delegation

Mt. Athos, February 10, 2019

Updated February 11, 2019, 12:15 AM

Several monks have decided to leave Vatopedi Monastery on Mt. Athos after the Ukrainian schismatic delegation that is currently visiting the Holy Mountain was received there, reports Interfax.

According to a source in the Moscow Patriarchate, seven Russian, Ukrainian, and Moldovan monks left and decided to go to the Russian-tradition St. Panteleimon’s Monastery, where the schismatic delegation was refused yesterday.

Romfea is reporting that the monks were not members of the brotherhood but had been staying as guests for a while.

Before being shut out of St. Panteleimon’s, the delegation, headed by “Bishop” Paul of Odessa and the Baltic, celebrated Vespers and Divine Liturgy at Pantocrator Monastery and was received at New Esphigmenou Monastery. Conversely, other monasteries, such as Philotheou and Karakallou, have said they would also shut their gates to the schismatics.

There is also information that many of the Greek monks living at Vatopedi are also quite dissatisfied with the position the leadership of the monastery has taken and considers the representatives of the new Ukrainian structure to be schismatics.

Abbot Ephraim of Vatopedi was to attend the enthronement of “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko in Kiev on February 3, though he suffered a heart attack upon arrival in the Ukrainian capital, leaving a Hieromonk Maximos of Vatopedi to concelebrate at the enthronement, along with Abbot Alexios of Xenophontos Monastery and Hieromonk Chrysostomos of the St. Panteleimon’s Skete of Koutloumousiou Monastery.

The Sacred Community of Mt. Athos officially voted against sending a delegation to Epiphany Dumenko’s delegation, with 13 monasteries voting against it, and 5 voting in favor of going: Iveron, Stavronikita, Xenophontos, Koutloumousiou, and Pantocrator. The Athonites who did attend and concelebrate did so as part of the delegation representing the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Thus, 7 Athonite monasteries have thus far shown support for the Ukrainian schismatics, whether by voting to attend their primate’s enthronement, attending the enthronement, or receiving them at their monasteries: Iveron, Stavronikita, Xenophontos, Koutloumousiou, Pantocrator, Vatopedi, and New Esphigmenou.

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