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.
- Russians see more threats from the USA than from radical Islamists - poll 21 October 2014, 14:52
- Archpriest Chaplin to Khodorkovsky: people basing on God's law instead of oligarchs and West will determine Russia's future 21 October 2014, 14:49
- Church arson reported in Ukraine's Chernigov Region 21 October 2014, 14:00
- Russian Jewish community sets example for Europe - Rabbi Lazar 21 October 2014, 11:42
- Over half of Russians say ISIL is threat - poll 20 October 2014, 15:18
- Obligatory introduction of electronic passports and universal fingerprinting make the way to absolute dictatorship - Russian church official believes 20 October 2014, 11:27
- About 1,000 Evangelical Christians gather in central Kiev to pray for Ukraine 20 October 2014, 10:33
- Metropolitan Hilarion, Pope Francis discuss Greek-Catholics' actions in Ukraine 20 October 2014, 10:04
- Moscow Patriarchate urges Catholics to jointly protect family at a legal level 17 October 2014, 12:03
- Russian Church urges Uniates to stop subversive activities against it in Ukraine 17 October 2014, 11:07
- Renowned Italian expert speaks about growing Christianophobia on Europe 17 October 2014, 10:06
- The Valaam Monastery to produce Italian sorts of cheese 16 October 2014, 17:58
- Kyrgyz parliament passes bill banning "gay propaganda" at 1st reading 16 October 2014, 15:39
- Orthodox human rights advocate suggests appointing OSCE curator on Russophobia 16 October 2014, 10:05
- Parents-Satanists call their baby Lucifer 16 October 2014, 10:02
- Eight Hizb ut-Tahrir figures arrested in Kazan 16 October 2014, 10:01
- Kazakhstan outlaws Al-Takfir wa al-Hijra 15 October 2014, 12:14
- Putin accuses human rights defenders of ignoring the persecution of Ukrainian Orthodox Church 15 October 2014, 10:11
- Monument to Nicholas II to open in Belgrade 14 October 2014, 14:26
- Serbian Ambassador criticizes the West for lack of attention to the problem of destroying churches in Kosovo 14 October 2014, 13:43
- It is time to begin developing a system of Islamic education within the country's religious institutions - FSB chief 14 October 2014, 12:54
- Patriarch Kirill asks Iraq president to protect Christians 14 October 2014, 10:05
- Schismatics occupy church in Ternopol Region of Ukraine 14 October 2014, 10:01
- Moscow Patriarchate urges to stop violence and threats against canonical Ukrainian Church 13 October 2014, 17:05
- Exact copy of the main Sevastopol Cathedral to appear in Moscow 13 October 2014, 16:34
- Over forty citizens of Georgia may be fighting in Syria on Islamic State side - media 10 October 2014, 18:06
- Most Russians unaware of ISIL, others see it as threat to peace, Russia - poll 09 October 2014, 18:12
- Extremist ideologists use unsanctioned U.S. operations in Syria to stoke radical sentiments - Russian Foreign Ministry 09 October 2014, 16:01
- They try to deprive Russia of spiritual weapon, which is more powerful than nuclear one - Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin 09 October 2014, 13:56
- Integration of Crimean Tatars will be lengthy process - Mufti Gainutdin 08 October 2014, 17:39