Protocol # 44
9/22 September 2005
OPEN LETTER from the
HOLY ROYAL MONASTERY ESPHIGMENOU
Respected Holy Mountain Fathers,
We are addressing this letter primarily to those who are driven with passion and continue the undeserved anti- monastic and anti-Christian persecution against our Holy Royal Monastery of Esphigmenou.
The fact that they “fear Caesar” (i.e.Bartholomew) [more than GOD] does not absolve their guilt or culpability for their statements because they, and all the rest of those responsible Holy Mountain Fathers, are accomplices who willingly cooperate.
Even after the unjust decision of the Council of State against our Brotherhood, we were informed with sadness, that the Extraordinary Sacred Meeting (of Mount Athos), was forced to meet and to create an impostor brotherhood, due to the presence of the Patriarchal Exarchs with their use of psychological coercion. An impostor Brotherhood was created with the goal of subsequently using all (unlawful) means necessary to replace and exterminate the lawful, Brotherhood of the Royal Esphigmenou Monastery, if GOD allows.
We ask, respected Fathers, do you comprehend the historically injurious and harmful false step against Orthodoxy and the Holy Mountain you have been driven to? Furthermore, have you pondered what eternal responsibilities you have put upon your own shoulders? We are afraid that perhaps the saying may apply that “those whom GOD wants to discard are made morons!”
We do not know what mechanism motivated the formation of the imaginary brotherhood and you accepted “with an uncaring conscience” the shouldering of this weight, because it will without doubt quickly become “ a point of mockery before men and angels” disturbing and irreparably damaging this Sacred land of ours with the scandal they have created. It is not possible for any correct believing Orthodox Christian to recognize and approve this, since our Brotherhood has always been associated with the Holy Royal Monastery of Esphigmenou, in the consciences of the faithful in Greece and beyond.
This action against Esphigmenou Monastery really is insane, particularly in the midst of the typhoon of the pan-heresy of Ecumenism, which has corrupted and has swept through all the Orthodox Patriarchates and Autocephalous Churches, so that it is now an undisputable fact, that the vast majority of the Hierarchs are now shameless disciples of this pan-heresy.
On the Holy Mountain, which is considered the beacon and the Acropolis of Orthodoxy, Holy Mountain monks cooperate with and support the Ecumenical Patriarchate and have attempted with all means, to ostracize our Brotherhood of the Sacred Royal Monastery of Esphigmenou, which in spite of these difficult times, is trying with its feeble powers, to hold on to the Orthodox Confession of Faith.
Therefore, the following is verified and worthy of great sorrows: the Holy Mountain persecutors are doubly guilty and accountable, first for commemorating the Heretical Patriarch, but worse, for bringing back to life, the old persecutors of the Church, as new Bekkos.*
* Translators notes. This is a reference to Patriarch John Bekkos, of sorry memory, who came to the Holy Mountain along with the Latin minded Emperor Michael Palaiologos (1272) and tried to impose on the Orthodox monastics, the false Union of Lyon 1205, similar to the June 1993 Balamand (Sister Churches) Agreement, is what Patriarch Bartholomew is attempting today with the fathers at Esphigmenou Monastery. The Mother of GOD appeared and warned the fathers, “Flee, hide because the enemies of My Son are coming,” She said. Monks of Zographou Monastery who did not flee and resisted the Patriarch in serving with the Latins, were Martyred, burned, drowned or hanged. The Church celebrates the memory of these martyrs on October 10.
Fathers and Brothers, let us stand well, let us stand with fear, wake up from your slumber and awaken your consciences while there is still time to see what precipice you are being driven to, because, instead of fighting the cacodox and heretics, you have turned against us who are trying with fear of GOD, according to the example and deeds of the Fathers in time of heresy, to keep our conscience pure from the corruption of the panheresy. Because it is absolutely unacceptable and unforgivable to adopt and accept the cacodox, unholy and baseless decision of Fanar that we are “schismatics”, and based on that decision to dare persecute our Monastery with the unheard of characterization of us as “ illegal occupiers.” This for certain, if nothing else, constitutes a reaction of your accrued guilt. Keep in mind, what is now apparent, the official Union of the Churches, because the European Union is being rushed to complete a Unified Europe. Naturally within the framework of this convergence is also the topic of the Union of the Churches, a fact for which enourmous pressure has already been applied. Then we shall see who are the schismatics. Certainly you should have been troubled by the content of that famous Confession of Faith Epistle which the Holy Mountain Fathers sent to the Latin minded Emperor Michael Palaiologos, because without a doubt today, history is repeating itself.
Finally, by writing this letter to you we are making a final attempt, with the good hope that you will understand us in order to avoid the mounting scandal and cause for upheaval in our Sacred Land, a fact which will cause incalculable spiritual harm to the Orthodox Christian world.
And do not think by expressing these, our observations and thoughts, that we are fearful and anxious regarding your moves, because if you are thus thinking, you are mistaken … Just the opposite, not only are you not going to achieve your desired result against us, but with your unbrotherly actions, you continue to solidify the resolve and the morale of our Brotherhood, while conversely burdening your conscience.
Furthermore, it should not escape your attention, that every new brotherhood, along with its abbot, that is established in the Monasteries on Mt. Athos, through the intervention of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, is added to the number of Holy Mountain Monasteries attached “body and soul” to the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the expense of preserving the Self Governing of the Holy Mountain. This way, with the creation of the new illegal Brotherhood, the Self Government of the Holy Mountain is directly threatened, because you are bolstering the veto of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the decision making of the Sacred Community.
In conclusion, you should understand that the persecution of the Monastery of Esphigmenou has spanned a period of 33 years without any results. On the contrary, Esphigmenou with the help of GOD and the Theotokos, continues to survive and function, in spite of all the deficiencies and sufferings visited upon it and yet it still endures! From this, you should perceive that you are acting outside GOD’S will. The creation of the new imposter brotherhood will not find support anywhere, will diminish your authority, and certainly the date of its expiration, is not far off.
We therefore remain, with Christ’s brotherly love, and love in CHRIST,
THE ABBOT OF THE SACRED ROYAL MONASTERY OF ESPHIGMENOU
(Signature) +Archimandrite Methodios and the brothers in CHRIST with me