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.
- Two Israeli pilgrims injured in Uman blast 21 September 2017, 18:25
- Even grassroots anti-Semitism is minimal in Russia – FJCR 21 September 2017, 18:00
- Christian State - Holy Russia leader detained again 21 September 2017, 16:38
- Uman State Council MP 'taxes a tribute' on trade points for Hassids - Ukraine Security Service 21 September 2017, 15:54
- Four detained over car arson near office of Matilda film director's lawyer - Russian Interior Ministry 21 September 2017, 15:48
- Christian State leader released after interrogation over car arson near office of Uchitel's lawyer 21 September 2017, 14:16
- Putin thanks Russian Jewish community leaders for defending historical truth 21 September 2017, 10:00
- Leader of Christian State Kalinin may be prosecuted for fomenting hostility - police source 20 September 2017, 18:29
- Putin congratulates Jews on Jewish New Year 20 September 2017, 18:26
- Putin expects that Jewish community will promote religious tolerance in Russia 20 September 2017, 15:57
- Three people suspected of setting fire to cars outside office of Matilda director's lawyer detained 20 September 2017, 14:21
- Kazakhstan plans to set up own school of Islamic studies 19 September 2017, 10:12
- Blogger Sokolovsky's lawyer contests sentence in Sverdlovsk region court 18 September 2017, 14:15
- Navalny's volunteer gets 2 years for religious affiliation 18 September 2017, 14:13
- Kadyrov publishes address by Chechen man imprisoned in Iraq calling on Muslims not to join ISIL 18 September 2017, 11:29
- Turkish terrorists lived in house of Georgian patriarch for several months - Rustavi 2 18 September 2017, 10:00
- Tajikistan, Saudi Arabia decide to cooperate to promote tolerance, counterterrorism 15 September 2017, 11:54
- Russian police ready to curb provocations, ensure security of Matilda film viewers 14 September 2017, 17:21
- Umayyad Mosque in Syria's Aleppo to be restored with Kadyrov Fund money 13 September 2017, 11:52
- FJCR building in suspected Molotov cocktail attack 13 September 2017, 10:00
- Jehovah's Witnesses ask Supreme Court to reverse ruling declaring them extremists 12 September 2017, 16:55
- Victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks commemorated in Moscow 12 September 2017, 12:04
- No more need for rallies supporting Myanmar Muslims – Kadyrov 11 September 2017, 10:33
- Over 100 people rallying in support for Myanmar's Muslims detained on Palace Square in St. Petersburg 11 September 2017, 10:06
- Erdogan urges Islamic countries to show determination in resolving Myanmar conflict 11 September 2017, 10:00
- Canada should be asked about reports on plans to take gays from Chechnya - Russian Foreign Ministry 08 September 2017, 13:48
- Pressure on Myanmar leadership only to escalate tensions - Russian Foreign Ministry 08 September 2017, 12:17
- Russian Orthodox Church warns Ukrainian president against meddling in Church's internal affairs 07 September 2017, 18:15
- Catholicos of All Armenians heading for Moscow to take part in Karabakh meeting 07 September 2017, 17:00
- Organizer of picket in defense of Rohingya offers to meet Myanmar ambassador to Russia 07 September 2017, 15:20