12 January 2012, 10:01
Russian Church declines to comment on Constantinople statement on abbot's arrest
Moscow, January 12, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church has declined to comment on a statement from the Patriarchate of Constantinople on Tuesday on the recent arrest in Greece of Archimandrite Ephrem, abbot of the Vatopedi Monastery in Greece's Mt. Athos monastic community, over real estate deals.
"I assume that [the statement] speaks for itself. All that the Russian Orthodox Church has considered necessary to say on this matter is said in the letter of the Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to the Greek president and in the comments of Metropolitan Hilarion [head of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations] that date back to December 28," an External Church Relations Department spokesman told Interfax-Religion on Wednesday.
In its statement, the Constantinople Patriarchate deplored the Ephrem affair but said it respected the independence of Greek justice and avoided interfering with unfinished court cases, one reason being it does not know all the details of any such case.
The Constantinople Patriarchate also pointed out that the fact that the community comprising its see includes monks of various nationalities does not vest it with authority over the entire world Orthodox community that would give it the right to interfere in the affairs of other churches.
Archimandrite Ephrem was arrested by court order last month as part of an investigation into real estate deals between the Vatopedi Monastery and the Greek state that was launched in 2008.
Late in December, Patriarch Kirill wrote a letter to Greek President Karolos Papoulias in which he asked for Ephrem to be released, expressing surprise at the detention of "a monk who poses no public danger and has repeatedly offered to cooperate with the investigators."
Metropolitan Hilarion branded Ephrem's arrest as an attack against the Mt. Athos community and against Orthodoxy as a whole.
Influential Russian politicians and the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed support for the archimandrite.
Among those who rose up in his defense was Russia's Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called, which brought the Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God to Russia this autumn in what was the first time the highly venerated Orthodox relic, which is kept at the Vatopedi Monastery, was taken outside Greece.
The cincture was shown in various Russian cities from October 20 to November 28 and was seen by nearly 3 million people, including top Russian state leaders.
- Putin presents icon to Sretensky Monastery church 25 May 2017, 18:07
- Unity of Russian nation should be preserved – Putin 25 May 2017, 15:09
- Patriarch of Georgia cancels festivities to mark 40th anniversary of his enthronement 25 May 2017, 14:46
- Putin kisses relics of St. Nicholas Miracle-Maker 24 May 2017, 22:55
- Putin expresses gratitude to pope for permission to bring St. Nicholas' relics to Russia 24 May 2017, 22:51
- Putin meets with Coptic patriarch Tawadros II 24 May 2017, 22:50
- Putin, Medvedev visit Patriarch Kirill to offer name day congratulations 24 May 2017, 22:48
- Russian Cossacks will help Syrians preserve their Christian heritage 24 May 2017, 18:18
- Patriarch Kirill to visit Kyrgyzstan 24 May 2017, 17:08
- Patriarch Kirill will consecrate a cathedral built to the 100th anniversary of the revolution 24 May 2017, 15:12
- The Federation of Jewish Community of Russia criticizes Ukrainian political circles for heroizing Nazi symbols 24 May 2017, 12:19
- Patriarch Kirill sends early icon of Saint Nicholas to Pope Francis 23 May 2017, 15:19
- Investigators verifying media reports on possible harassment of LGBT community in Chechnya – ombudsman 23 May 2017, 13:15
- Religious believers disrupt gay march in Chisinau 22 May 2017, 11:53
- Patriarch Kirill believes Christians of different confessions will unite in one Church again 22 May 2017, 11:08
- Patriarch Kirill calls St. Nicholas the Wonderworker saint number one for Russia 22 May 2017, 11:03
- Thousands believers met St. Nicholas relics in the Cathedral pf Christ the Savior 22 May 2017, 10:44
- St. Nicholas' relics delivered to Moscow 21 May 2017, 17:08
- Head of Belarusian Orthodox Church addresses Poroshenko regarding 'anti-Orthodox' laws 19 May 2017, 19:00
- Georgian priest accused of attempted murder refuses to attend his trial behind closed doors 19 May 2017, 17:18
- Ukrainian Foreign Ministry denies that ambassador summoned to Vatican regarding church bills 19 May 2017, 16:06
- Ukrainian ambassador summoned to Vatican regarding Rada's intention to pass bills on status of church organizations 19 May 2017, 14:49
- Patriarch Kirill asks not to give him flowers on his name day, but to fundraise for suffering Syrian people 18 May 2017, 18:38
- Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine thanks participants in prayer at Verkhovnaya Rada building 18 May 2017, 18:37
- Kremlin says disrespect for interests of Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine unacceptable 18 May 2017, 17:18
- Moldovan president objects to LGBT march in Chisinau 18 May 2017, 16:27
- Blocking of Russian online media in Ukraine, attacks on Church suggest that Kiev is under influence of radicals – Lavrov 18 May 2017, 16:25
- Ukrainian parliament not to hear church bills on Thursday - Poroshenko Bloc 18 May 2017, 12:22
- Priests, flock of Ukrainian Orthodox Church rally in front of Ukrainian parliament against bill on 'special status' of their church 18 May 2017, 12:17
- World Council of Churches head calls on Poroshenko to withdraw bills "detrimental" to Ukrainian Orthodox Church 18 May 2017, 12:04