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.
- New film about Griboyedov proves not 'outraged Muslim crowd' killed him, Mikhalkov says 10 February 2016, 19:40
- Russian govt not involved in preparing Patriarch-Pope meeting - spokesman 10 February 2016, 10:03
- Russian and Coptic churches support restoration of air contacts between Russia and Egypt 09 February 2016, 17:48
- Abortion ban law adopted in Abkhazia 09 February 2016, 14:42
- Former Yukos shareholders' attempts to claim title to Paris land plot challenged at court - Russian Embassy 09 February 2016, 10:40
- The Russian Church official considers symbolic that the patriarch meets with the pope 'at a crossroad' 09 February 2016, 10:03
- Church dismisses as "hoax" reports about seizure of church construction site in Paris 08 February 2016, 17:37
- Russian diplomats checking reports of Russia's Paris property seizure in Yukos lawsuit 08 February 2016, 17:17
- Patriarch, pope meeting 'a mutual step halfway' between Russia, Western world – Peskov 08 February 2016, 13:17
- Seven ISIL members preparing terror attacks in Moscow, St. Petersburg detained in Yekaterinburg 08 February 2016, 12:54
- Tajikistan's mutiny participants, leaders of outlawed Islamic Renaissance Party to face court 08 February 2016, 12:44
- Georgian Patriarchate asks to provide security to human rights activist from LGBT community 08 February 2016, 10:03
- Patriarch-pope meeting to benefit Christians in Islamic countries - mufti Tajuddin 08 February 2016, 10:02
- Rabbi Kogan blesses the patriarch-pope meeting 08 February 2016, 10:01
- Delaying patriarch-pope meeting "no longer possible" - Russian Orthodox Church 08 February 2016, 10:00
- Meeting between pope, patriarch of Moscow to mark new stage in relations between two Churches - joint statement 05 February 2016, 20:59
- Ukrainian Orthodox Church criticizes Ukraine's Foreign Ministry 05 February 2016, 17:47
- OSCE mission investigate the situation around the church in Ukrainian village of Ptichya 05 February 2016, 16:46
- Patriarch Kirill goes on tour of Latin America 05 February 2016, 16:38
- Russian Catholics place high hopes on meeting of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill 05 February 2016, 15:38
- Pope's possible visit to Russia not being discussed for now - Metropolitan Hilarion 05 February 2016, 15:11
- Patriarch Kirill, pope to meet on Cuba on February 12 (updated) 05 February 2016, 14:40
- Russian Church canonizes Dr. Botkin killed with tsar family 05 February 2016, 10:02
- Every second Russian for Russia's closing up with Islamic world 04 February 2016, 16:16
- Orthodox church desecrated in Kiev 04 February 2016, 15:44
- Russian Church calms down the believers who consider Pan-Orthodox Council 'anti-Christ' 04 February 2016, 10:03
- Islamic coalition to fight terrorism within international law 04 February 2016, 10:01
- Turks together with Islamists robbed Armenian Churches in Syria 03 February 2016, 15:57
- UOC primate concerned about legalization of homosexual 'marriages' in Ukraine 03 February 2016, 15:07
- Inquiry into royal family killing to continue as long as necessary - Patriarch Kirill 02 February 2016, 16:55