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.
- Iran has nothing to do with Nardaran Islamic clashes - embassy in Baku 01 December 2015, 15:44
- Islamist group involving Russian detained in Kyrgyzstan 01 December 2015, 15:28
- Azeri police detain six supporters of Muslim Unity movement after its leader's arrest triggered clashes in Nardaran 01 December 2015, 15:21
- Another church of Moscow Patriarchate robbed and set on fire in western Ukraine 01 December 2015, 11:15
- Orthodoxy makes Russians 'extremely strong', Japanese actor from Hollywood believes 30 November 2015, 13:49
- Turkey finances elimination of thousands of Muslims - Kadyrov 30 November 2015, 11:48
- IS behind attempt on life of well-known Kyrgyz theologian - security service 30 November 2015, 11:07
- Estonia contemplating hijab, niqab ban 30 November 2015, 10:51
- Police find videos calling on people to join ISIL in Turkish Islamic school in Dagestan 30 November 2015, 10:20
- Alexander III's tomb not opened under Soviet rule - Russian Investigative Committee 27 November 2015, 16:46
- Specialists decide not to open any more Romanov graves in Nicholas II family death case 27 November 2015, 16:18
- Russian soldiers killed in Syria were commemorated in Moscow 27 November 2015, 14:47
- Samples of remains of Alexander III will be taken to Moscow soon - head of Russian State Archive 27 November 2015, 14:14
- Experts open grave of Alexander III in St. Petersburg 27 November 2015, 13:51
- Muslim Board of Caucasus considers events in Baku an attempt to seize power 27 November 2015, 13:29
- Church appreciates of Putin's policy for his 'iron will' and readiness to go all the way 27 November 2015, 10:30
- Crimean authorities refuse to use Turkish services for building the mosque 27 November 2015, 10:06
- Four worshippers, four policemen killed in clash in Baku - TV (updated) 26 November 2015, 16:10
- Tsar Alexander III grave in Petersburg to be opened on Nov 27, samples of remains to be sent to Moscow 26 November 2015, 13:43
- Kyrgyz court tightens punishment for former mosque worker recruiting fighters for Syria 25 November 2015, 14:21
- Delegation of Russian Orthodox Church cancels visit to Istanbul 25 November 2015, 13:56
- Turkish administration purposefully supports Islamization of its country - Putin 25 November 2015, 12:27
- Turkey made a blow on good will of Russian people and should apologize 25 November 2015, 11:43
- Russia not striking mosques in Syria - Defense Minister 25 November 2015, 10:06
- Archpriest Chaplin urges Russia to realize ideals of Holy Rus, caliphate, USSR 24 November 2015, 17:58
- Kadyrov calls law on immunity of holy books from jurisdiction 'triumph of justice' 24 November 2015, 15:25
- General Secretary of the International Union of Muslim Scholars calls false the information about his support of Russian operation in Syria 24 November 2015, 13:28
- Expert on Islam suggests banning the International Union of Muslim Scholars in Russia 24 November 2015, 10:04
- The Russian Church is the most rapidly growing organization in Russia 24 November 2015, 10:02
- At least one month required for studies related to royal family case - leading genetic scientist 23 November 2015, 16:42