The long-term confrontation between the “old” and “new” brotherhood of the Esphigmen monastery became the reason that the hegumen of the “new” brotherhood Bartholomew, strive to curry favor first of all before the civil authorities of the monastic republic, actively “drowning” his own colleagues from the rival brotherhood.
As we reported previously, the prosecutor of Thessaloniki ordered a preliminary investigation after a call from the abbot of the “correct” * Esphigmen Bartholomew monastery. He complained on the actions of the rival old brotherhood, by pointing the judiciary at the “wrong” ** anti-vaccination monks who refuse to inject, and by their “radical rhetoric” they urge believers not to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
As part of the investigation, the prosecutor’s office will call Bartholomew to testify and name those to whom he refers to determine if they are spreading fake news.
On the air of the program on the TV channel SKAI The abbot said that he was “satisfied” with the interest of the Greek prosecutor’s office in those monks on the Holy Mountain who oppose vaccination, adding that “it would be even more comforting if I intervened earlier.” He complained that he had only complained to the authorities about the unvaccinated monks “a few months ago.”
Answering the question about vaccination on Mount Athos, the abbot of the monastery, which received representatives of the OCU, replied that in his monastery “everyone is vaccinated.”
He added that “many people have already asked for the first dose,” and some have made a third for themselves because of the “fear of the last days,” and “I’m happy, not because people are afraid and go to get the vaccine, but because now motivated by the obvious. “
A few days ago, Archimandrite Bartholomew, who hosted Ukrainian schismatics from the OCU in his monastery, ranted on the radio program Το GPS της επικαιρότητας: “Why are we monks above the law? Can we move uncontrollably and do whatever we want when death spreads around us, not only on Mount Athos, but all over the world? “
According to him, “what is happening cannot be ignored,” especially at a time when only 40% of the monks of the monastic state were vaccinated.
“They have a great responsibility for forcing people not to get vaccinated, as well as spiritual and criminal responsibility, which has not yet been paid attention to. Let justice prevail, let the prosecutor conduct an investigation, ”hegumen Bartholomew said.
He is convinced that “this is not a political issue, regardless of whether some people try to politicize it, it is a purely medical issue that affects all people; it does not concern only part of the population, since all people die from the pandemic. “
Hegumen Bartholomew emphasized that “a purely medical problem today has turned into a spiritual one, although it cannot be considered as such.” The abbot called those monks who do not agree to be vaccinated against the coronavirus “fanatics” who “close their eyes, ears and nose so as not to see or hear anything except their point of view, which they want to impose by force.”
“They are leading the world in the direction of bigotry and intolerance. The characteristic traits of a fanatic are hatred and revenge. They do not tolerate opinions different from their own, and if a different opinion is heard, they react aggressively, ”the abbot said and said that the Athonites accuse him of collaboration with the patriarch and the government, because he“ talks about these issues ”.
However, already in the next phrase, the abbot revealed the real reason for his passion for the “health” of the monks: “The Esfigmen monastery on Mount Athos” was occupied by illegal immigrants who live inside, and were convicted of staying on the territory of the monastery. ” However, hegumen Bartholomew continued, “they are acting out of control,” and “we saw them leading anti-vaccination rallies, using our name Esfigmen monastery.”
Monasteries of Athos affected by COVID-19: several dozen monks, including three from “old” Esfigmen, fell ill since the beginning of the pandemic, and some died due to complications of the disease. Of all the monks agreed to be vaccinated only 25%… The rest either took a wait-and-see attitude, or, like the rebels from the “old” ** Esfigmen, spoke out categorically against it.
“Every fourth was vaccinated – about 420 monks, 50% were ill, and the remaining 25-30% had isolated cases in the sketes. About 500 monks live in them, there is less control, since there are no abbots, and they are mostly late to ask for help, ”states the civil governor of Athos Athanasios Martinos.
Recently, monks’ interest in vaccination has faded and practically disappeared.
* The “new” brotherhood of Esphigmen appeared at the beginning of the 21st century, after the appointment of a new abbot Bartholomew and the division of the monastery into 2 brotherhoods, “old” and “new”.
In the photo, the monks of the old Bratsov are fighting off with the help of a “Molotov cocktail” from the police, who were trying to take over their monastery.
** Incorrect (old) or, as they are called, “pAskolniks monks of the monastery Esfigmen began in the mid-60s, after the meeting of the Patriarch of Constantinople Athenagoras with Pope Paul Six. Then they left, as if it sounded in legal jargon, “into a deaf unconscious.” The monks considered the agreements of the Ecumenical Patriarch a betrayal of Orthodoxy, which they publicly declared. In response, they received a reprimand from the international church community “for making public the secret spiritual life” and the title of “schismatics” from all the Athonite monasteries.
In 2017 criminal court Thessaloniki sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison Abbot Methodius, from the “old brotherhood” of the rebellious Esfigmen monastery on Mount Athos, and monk Antipas – for resisting and using “Molotov cocktails” when trying to evict them from the monastery in July 2013.
In 2005, a parallel community was created, which is called the “New Esfigmen”, and the abbot of which is currently Abbot Bartholomew. This community is based in Karyes, and it is for it that the rights that previously belonged to Esfigmen’s “old fraternity” are recognized.
More about the situation at the Esphigmen Monastery by link