Holy Mount Athos, March 4, 2014
The Romfea.gr Greek portal, referring to its own reliable sources, writes that the Holy Kinot of Holy Mount Athos has received an extensive message from His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople recently, reports AgionOros.ru.
This document expresses his concern in connection with the attempts to over-build Mt. Athos and "change its look" through the uncontrolled and free influx of monks of non-Greek origin.
The Patriarchate of Constantinople informs that it will no longer grant permission to "non-Greek speaking monks" to reside in Greek-speaking monasteries.
The letter also contains a recommendation, according to which the total number of foreign monks must not exceed 10% of the total number of the brethren on Holy Mount Athos.
In fact, this decision means a ban on foreigners coming to live on Athos, as the number of monks of non-Greek origin at the moment exceeds 10% of the total number of monks.
Athonite monks stress that this message is raising many questions, particularly in a period "when the Phanar has announcing a struggle against philetism in the Church".
"This statement (if the information regarding the message of the Patriarchate of Constantinople is confirmed) casts doubt on the universal nature of Holy Mount Athos, where for over 1000 years, Greeks, Serbs, Russians, Romanians, Bulgarians, and monks from all over the world have coexisted together harmoniously. The Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, during his recent visit, was astonished when he saw a Chinese monk in one of the Athonite monasteries."
Sources of Romfea.gr inform that the Holy Kinot of Holy Mount Athos intends to consider the Patriarch’s message after the first week of the Lenten fast.