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Geronta Ephraim of Mt. Athos jailed


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#21 Julia Hayes

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 06:21 PM

"We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. " (Romans 8:28)
Just the fact that prisoners and policemen are going to Elder Efraim for confession means that something good is coming out of this absurdity.

#22 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 08:30 PM

From the web site of Sretensky monastery, Moscow 11 January:

Τhe Ecumenical Patriarchate denounced the interference of the Russian Orthodox Church in the case of Abbot Ephraim of Vatopedi, after the Holy Synod concluded on Tuesday.

In its official announcement, the Patriarchate points out that Mount Athos lies within the jurisdiction and borders of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and though it may include Orthodox monks of different national backgrounds, its matters hold no pan-orthodox interests. Therefore, no other Autocephalous Church is allowed to interfere with the operation and issues of Mount Athos in any way.



#23 Alice

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 09:42 PM

From the web site of Sretensky monastery, Moscow 11 January:


Maybe I am missing something and maybe I am not..but I fail to see how pan-Orthodox support of a holy monastic Elder constitutes 'interference'?!?

#24 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 10:52 PM

Cherchez les américains.

#25 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 03:16 PM

Maybe I'm reading too much into this. But it seems to me that the recent statement of the EP reflects the current impasse in the meetings of the canonical bishops concerning unity in the diaspora. Ie it is a conscious reiteration of the same canonical point made during recent talks among the bishops.

In Christ
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#26 Kusanagi

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 05:06 PM

Old news but it is the statement from Patriarch Ilia II

Patriarch Ilia Saddened By Arrest of Elder Ephraim

January 4, 2012
Sedmitza

Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II expressed sadness over the arrest by the Greek authorities of Vatopaidi Abbot Ephraim.

"We are saddened by the fact that Abbot Ephraim is deprived of his liberty", said the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II, during a sermon at the service at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi, reports the Greek agency "Romfea."

Catholicos Ilia said that recently Father Ephraim, superior of the Monastery of Vatopaidi on Mount Athos, visited Russia, where he brought the belt of the the Most Holy Theotokos, which was venerated by millions of believers.

"Now we found out that Archimandrite Ephraim has been imprisoned. This is a sad event. I ask all of you to pray for Father Ephraim," said the Georgian Patriarch, who also noted that he is "very saddened by this event."

Ilia II noted that there also are Georgian monks in Vatopaidi. "We express our sympathy to the entire monastic community", said the Primate of the Georgian Orthodox Church.

"I wish you peace and joy. Love your enemies. This, of course, is difficult. But if you can not love, at least pray for them", said the Patriarch at the end of his sermon.

The Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia said that in the next few days he will make an official statement in support of the superior of Vatopaidi.

#27 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 05:32 PM

More 'interference':

12 January 2012
Metropolitan Philaret Vakhromeyev of Minsk and Slutsk, Patriarchal Exarch of all Byelorussia, appealed to the Greek authorities, asking them to release Archimandrite Ephrem, Abbot of Vatopedi Monastery onMount Athos. Metropolitan Philaret said, “We can only interpret the court’s decision and the arrest of Abbot Ephrem, a spiritual mentor and an elderly man, at a time when we celebrate Christmas, the birth of hope and love, as a provocation and an expression of hostility to the Church, in a country which is Orthodox by its Constitution. Many lawyers in Greece dispute the contentions that are the grounds for the prosecution of Archimandrite Ephrem; they cast doubt on the investigation being fair and free”.



#28 Alice

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 05:40 PM

Old news but it is the statement from Patriarch Ilia II

Patriarch Ilia Saddened By Arrest of Elder Ephraim

January 4, 2012
Sedmitza

Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II expressed sadness over the arrest by the Greek authorities of Vatopaidi Abbot Ephraim.

"We are saddened by the fact that Abbot Ephraim is deprived of his liberty", said the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II, during a sermon at the service at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi, reports the Greek agency "Romfea."

Catholicos Ilia said that recently Father Ephraim, superior of the Monastery of Vatopaidi on Mount Athos, visited Russia, where he brought the belt of the the Most Holy Theotokos, which was venerated by millions of believers.

"Now we found out that Archimandrite Ephraim has been imprisoned. This is a sad event. I ask all of you to pray for Father Ephraim," said the Georgian Patriarch, who also noted that he is "very saddened by this event."

Ilia II noted that there also are Georgian monks in Vatopaidi. "We express our sympathy to the entire monastic community", said the Primate of the Georgian Orthodox Church.

"I wish you peace and joy. Love your enemies. This, of course, is difficult. But if you can not love, at least pray for them", said the Patriarch at the end of his sermon.

The Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia said that in the next few days he will make an official statement in support of the superior of Vatopaidi.


Very beautiful. A response one expects to hear from an Orthodox Christian leader.

#29 Julia Hayes

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 07:11 PM

My spiritual father visited Elder Efraim a few days ago and said that even if he's released the other prisoners say they won't let him go because they're so happy to have him there!:)

#30 Alice

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 03:04 PM

Julia: Thanks for sharing this!:)
Indeed how blessed the prisoners are!

#31 Kusanagi

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 11:01 PM

From the Synod of the Greek Church Last Friday:

At the decision of the Holy Synod Archbishop Jeronymos will visit the Abbot of the Vatopedi monastery, Archimandrite Efrem, in the Korydallos detention centre. In a statement, the Holy Synod condemns the elder’s detention on Christmas Eve and indirectly demanded his release.

It says that the Synod ‘along with the congregation expresses its sympathy on behalf of all of its members for the predicament of the Abbot and conveys its hope and expectation that the possibility of his release will soon be revisited’.

The bishops added that the Abbot’s remand into custody ‘has dealt a severe blow against the name of the Church and has justifiably saddened the Orthodox people of Greece and beyond; at the same time it has raised serious concern and strong criticism against the decision by acclaimed litigators’.

At the same time they declared that the Church of Greece respects the decision of the Courts and ‘in no way wishes to intervene in their affairs’. However, the statement meaningfully added that ‘at times some decisions had raised concerns as to their accurateness’!

#32 Anna K.

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 04:08 PM

Here some wonderful news from last Friday:

http://www.pemptousi...-are-innocent’/

In Christ,
Anna K.

#33 Kusanagi

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 11:02 PM

Some news from another Metropolitan:

CONSTANTINOPLE PATRIARCHATE'S ATTITUDE TO THE ATHOS MONASTERY RECTOR UNACCEPTABLE, GREEK HIERARCH BELIEVES

Athens, January 18, 2012


Metropolitan Ambrosios of Kalavrita and Aigialia Abbot Ephraim's detention is an example of unacceptable behavior on the part of the Constantinople Patriarchate, Metropolitan Ambrosios of Kalavrita and Aigialia believes.

"We've recently mentioned it, but I'll say it again. The Ecumenical Patriarchate sometimes behaves as a mother-in-law! Thus, in our modest opinion, he has behaved in this case," the Romfea Greek agency cites the Metropolitan as saying.

According to him, the fact that the rector of a great ancient monastery of Holy Mt. Athos was detained on the eve of the Nativity of Christ induced many religious and secular figures to speak for Father Ephraim.

"The position of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and some lesser hierarch-brothers of our Church who voiced their position were the only exclusion and dissonance," Metropolitan Ambrosios further said.

According to the hierarch, expenses of the Constantinople Patriarch in Greece have been paid directly by the Vatopedi Monastery, which means by Father Ephraim; then Constantinople didn't reject the monastery and quietly used its help and resources.

#34 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 09:05 AM

Found this:

Athens, January 18, Interfax - Hegumen Yefrem's detention is an example of unacceptable behavior of the Constantinople Patriarchate, Metropolitan Ambrosios of Kalavrita and Aigialia believes.

"We've recently mentioned it, but I'll say it again. The Ecumenical Patriarchate sometimes behaves as a mother-in-law! Thus, on our moderate opinion, it has behaved in this case," the Romfea Greek agency cites the Metropolitan as saying.

According to him, the fact that the rector of a great ancient monastery of the Holy Mount Athos was detained on the eve of the Nativity of Christ made many religious and secular figures to speak for Father Yefrem.

"Position of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and some minor brothers-hierarchs of our Church who use to voice its position were the only exclusion and dissonance," Metropolitan Ambrosios further said.

According to the hierarch, expenses of the Constantinople Patriarch in Greece were directly paid by the Vatopedi Monastery, which means by Father Yefrem, and then Constantinople didn't reject the monastery and quietly used its help and resources.

#35 Owen Jones

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 03:39 PM

I remember warning a brother of Vatopedi some years ago about taking money from the EU to have the monastery rebuilt. He said they had promised they would not interfere. Not that there is a direct connection to this case, but I take no comfort in being right, at least in a general sense. When Athos looks to the state for money, nothing good can come from it.

#36 Alice

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 11:38 PM

Here some wonderful news from last Friday:

http://www.pemptousi...-are-innocent’/

In Christ,
Anna K.


I have not heard anything on the Greek news about Geronta being freed. What is going on? Does anyone know?

#37 A. Wright

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 05:29 AM

Last I read, he was declared innocent, but had not been released yet...

#38 Alice

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 04:11 PM

http://www.pemptousi...y-of-vatopaidi/

A statement by the brotherhood of the Holy Great Monastery of Vatopaidi
1 January 2012
Lake Vistonida Issue / Monastery Announcements Posted Image
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[h=1]The unfair pre-detention of our Elder[/h] [h=1]Efrem has shocked our brotherhood,[/h] [h=1]the Holy Mountain, the Church and[/h] [h=1]every church loving, reasonable[/h] [h=1]person.[/h]
Who would have thought that people who sacrifice themselves to serving others, who live their entire lives without serving their own interest, who live in obedience, fasting and prayer would be treated like common criminals and put into prison? Who would have imagined that a bearer of the divine Grace and humble laborer and teacher of virtue would be slurred and imprisoned because some people think that they serve justice in this way? All of our Elder’s deeds enjoyed the support, the approval and acceptance of the entire brotherhood. We would like to inform the church loving people that the entire brotherhood remains united and loving and supports our Elder, lifting along with him the cross of martyrdom with faith and hope. We are also greatly strengthened by the united support from the monks from the entire Holy Mountain and the Bishops of all Orthodoxy. We owe them our deepest gratitude. We would like to inform those responsible that in the face of our Elder they have imprisoned the whole brotherhood of Vatopaidi, namely more than 120 monks. The brotherhood of the Holy Great Monastery of Vatopaidi.

#39 Anton S.

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:20 AM

I am sure that persecution of Archimandrite Ephraim is a precursor of things to come. Modern Western society - of which Greece now is part - is becoming increasingly anti-Christian. The ruling classes of the West gradually tighten their grip on our throats. The godless rulers of the EU hate Mount Athos and what it stands for. They want to kill it spiritually, to turn it into a vulgar tourist attraction. The horrible slander and judicial persecution of a venerable Athonite elder reminds me of how Russian bolsheviks treated St Patriarch Tikhon. I do not know what will happen to Father Ephraim here on earth, but I am sure that in the Kingdom of Heaven he will be one of the confessors or martyrs for Jesus Christ, a great luminary. We should fear not so much for him, for he is a citizen of Heaven, but for ourselves. What will we do, what will our children do, when anti-Christian forces start persecuting us, rank-and-file Orthodox parishioners? Will we stand this test? They are targeting our leaders today, but tomorrow they may come for us.

#40 Anton S.

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 12:00 PM

It is a pity that all the Heads of Orthodox Churches have not condemned this horrible persecution. The time will come when they might face the same treatment from secularists on rampage.




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