Mt. Athos, July 19, 2022
Last week, the Russian Ministry of Foreign called out various Greek media publications that have leveled various accusations against the Russian Orthodox Church.
In particular, the Ministry pointed to statements from the abbot of New Esphigmenou on Mt. Athos, which prompted a response from the monastery, calling on the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs to protect Mt. Athos from foreign intrusions.
Recall that New Esphigmenou is among the handful of Athonite monasteries that support the Ukrainian schismatics.
“Since the beginning of Russia’s Special Military Operation, a number of Greek media outlets have been playing their violin of ‘anti-Russian solidarity’ in the hysterical Western media orchestra, obviously conducted by Washington … following propaganda orders from across the ocean,” the Russian Ministry writes in its Review of unreliable publications on Russian topics in the Greek media (February-June 2022).
“Among the most striking manifestations of outright disinformation and pandering to the Nazi aspirations of Kiev” are “aggressive attacks on the ROC and its clergy,” the Ministry writes. “Discrediting the activities of the ROC and Patriarch Kirill personally remained a favorite topic.”
The Ministry points to articles that speak of Moscow’s desire to spread its influence on Mt. Athos and challenge the authority of Patriarch Bartholomew through the Church as “an instrument of the Kremlin’s foreign policy.”
“As an illustration of the Kremlin’s ‘attempts to destabilize the situation on the Holy Mountain,’ a number of publications cited statements by Abbot Archimandrite Bartholomew of ‘New Esphigmenou’ Monastery about the arrival of ‘Russian ultranationalists’ on Mt. Athos, allegedly arranging provocative processions with the banners of the Russian Empire. In addition, a representative of the clergy spoke about Russian plans to establish ecclesiastical exarchates in Greece and Istanbul,” the Ministry notes in particular.
New Esphigmenou Monastery issued a response yesterday:
On July 14, 2022, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement, “Review of unreliable publications on Russian topics in the Greek media.”
In this announcement, various reports from the Greek media about Russian actions are presented as fake news and as alleged propaganda under the guidance of Washington!
Among other things, the announcement of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also refers to statements of the Abbot of Esphigmenou Monastery, Archim. Bartholomew about the presence and action of Russian nationalists with flags of the Russian Empire in the occupied central building of the monastery.
The abbot of an Athonite monastery is personally targeted by the Foreign Ministry of a major power with all that this may entail. What is the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs doing to protect the Athonites and the borders of Mt. Athos from foreign interventions and intrusions?
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