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The Fathers of Esphigmenou in danger of being exiled

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  • Fr. Panagiotes Carras
    According to the Greek Daily, Kathimerini of May 13, 2003, police, Civil Aviation and National Defense authorities in northern Greece were yesterday seeking
    Message 1 of 1 , May 13, 2003
      According to the Greek Daily, Kathimerini of May 13, 2003, police, Civil Aviation and National Defense authorities in northern Greece were yesterday seeking the pilot of a light aircraft that dropped pamphlets over Mount Athos on Saturday lambasting top Orthodox Church figures as traitors to the faith and urging the fathers of Mount Athos to wake up to the danger which confronts the Orthodox Church.  The pamphlets also had photographs of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens with Pope John Paul.  The aircraft circled Mount Athos for approximately 2 hours.  Saturday’s drop of pamphlets criticizing Archbishop Christodoulos and Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios accentuated discord on the easternmost tip of the Halkidiki peninsula, where the 117 zealot fathers of the 1,000-year-old Esphigmenou Monastery are fighting a difficult court battle against their eviction.
       
      The brave pilot dove to just a few meters above the boat that connects Daphne and Ouranopolis. He bombarded the passengers with the pamphlets which also proclaimed Ecumenism Equals Betrayal of the Faith. 
       
      All this is taking place just as the trial date before Greece's highest administrative court, the Council of State, has been moved forward to May 27th.  The original date was Mid October, 2003.  This change appears to be an attempt to disrupt the legal preparation of the appeal on behalf of the fathers of Esphigmenou Monastery.  The state Church as well as the Greek government are attempting to evict the fathers well in advance of the 2004 Olympic Games.  They hope to avoid international embarrassment over this unprecedented attack on religious freedom.
       
      Orthodox faithful all over the world are flocking to the defense of these zealot fathers.  All of us should do what we can to support the Fathers of Esphigmenou.
       
      Please email your concerns to the following:

      Mr. Nino Gemelli, Chairman, Committee on Petitions, European Parliament, Members' Activities Division, L-2929 LUXEMBOURG and refer to Petition 361/2002  Euro-Ombudsman@...

      You can also send an online petition at: http://www.europarl.eu.int/petition/petition_en.htm

      Minister of Foreign Affairs G. Papandreou e-mail: dialogue@m...
      Under Secretary M. F. A. J. Magriotis e-mail: http://www.magriotis.gr/epikinonia.asp

      Ms. Mayland at the Greek desk for the Office of International Religious Freedom: maylandjl@...

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