Karakallou Monastery on Mt. Athos: We didn’t offer Abp. Elpidophoros a formal reception

Mt. Athos, January 26, 2024

Photo: agionoros.org Photo: agionoros.org     

Another statement coming from Mt. Athos has offered clarifications on the recent visit of Archbishop Elpidophoros of America.

The Archbishop led a pilgrimage group January 18 to 21, including visits to five of the twenty Athonite monasteries: Xenophontos (where he celebrated Theophany), Philotheou, Simonopetra, Karakallou, and Pantocrator.

Following his visit, the four-member monastic executive body known as the Holy Epistasia issued a formal statement clarifying that despite the impression given by various online publications, it did not offer Abp. Elpidophoros the customary reception of a hierarch, in accordance with the unanimous decision of the representatives of all twenty monasteries who were disappointed and concerned about the impression created by Abp. Elpidophoros’ appearance in photos following the Baptism of the adopted children of a celebrity gay couple in the summer of 2022.

And yesterday, Abbot Philotheos of Karakallou issued a similar statement, clarifying that it also did not offer the Archbishop a formal reception, despite the impression given online.

The statement reads:

Due to publications and photographs on the internet related to the recent visit of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America to Mount Athos, we wish to state the following. Our holy monastery, in agreement with the common position of the holy monasteries of Mount Athos, is opposed to the legislation of the “marriage” of same-sex couples and their right to adoption. We express our concern, our deep anxiety, and our deep sorrow for the promotion of such legislation, which is contrary to the Gospel teaching and the traditional form of the family. Not only is it anti-ecclesiastical, but it is also anti-social and anti-national, as our country is afflicted and in decline due to low birth rates, and this legislation contributes to the increase of the problem.

Regarding the visit of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America to our holy monastery, we would like to clarify that our holy monastery did not proceed with an official, ecclesiastical reception of the Archbishop of America, but rather there was a brief, informal pilgrimage.

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