Abbot "new" Esfigmena urged to punish unvaccinated monks and priests

Hegumen Bartholomew made a loud new statement. In his new message, the abbot of the New Esfigmen monastery on Mount Athos called on the church authorities to punish clergy and monks who oppose COVID-19 vaccination.

At the same time, in the duties of journalists, Bartholomew was charged with monitoring the local authorities, according to the Greek edition “Vima Orthodoxy”

According to Hegumen Novy Esfigmen, the authorities should “control” the distributors of anti-vaccination information on the Internet and “control” anti-vaccination demonstrations.

Hegumen Bartholomew also believes that journalists should “monitor the relevant authorities and, if they are not functioning optimally, conduct in-depth investigations on their own.”

The abbot of New Esfigmen recalled that “anti-vaccination preachers are well known to everyone,” and “by simply searching the Internet, anyone can find self-proclaimed” elders “and” fathers “and their respective negative positions on vaccines.”

Like us wrote earlier, the long-term confrontation between the “old” and “new” brotherhoods of the Esphigmen monastery became the reason that the hegumen of the “new” brotherhood Bartholomew seeks to curry favor, first of all, before the civil authorities of the monastic republic, actively “drowning” his colleagues from the rival brotherhood.

Last week, 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, leading the judiciary to the “wrong” ** monks who oppose vaccination. They refuse to give the injection, and also by their “radical rhetoric” urge believers not to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

As part of the prosecution’s investigation, Bartholomew will be summoned to testify and the names of those he refers to will be called to determine if they are spreading fake news.

Athos monasteries 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 sketes. There are about 500 monks living 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 in 2005, after the appointment of a new abbot Bartholomew and the division of the monastery into 2 brotherhoods, “old” and “new”. The abbot of New Esfigmen at the moment is 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. According to pilgrims visiting Kareas, Bartholomew is the only actual member of the “New” Esfigmen brotherhood. In his “brotherhood” no one is in a hurry to go, despite the many preferences promised to new members of the brotherhood. This is what, according to the sources of the editorial board, led Bartholomew to the fact that he was angry with the monks and decided to take revenge on them. When asked how the above fits in with the status of a monk, and even more so the abbot of the Athonite monastery, the editorial source smiled and said nothing significantly.

** 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 the Sixth. 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 giving publicity to the secret spiritual life” and the title of “schismatics” from all the Athonite monasteries.

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