New Attact on Fathers of Esphigmenou
- According to Abbot Methodios and the International Herald Tribune hhttp://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/05/23/europe/EU-GEN-Greece-Rebel-Monks.php The Greek government has deployed hundreds of armed SWAT police to forcibly remove the fathers of the Holy Monastery of Esphigmenou from their monastery. This is being done just as the fathers of the Monastery are preparing for the Feast of the Ascension.
Under the leadership of foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, all roads to the monastery have been sealed off and over 200 SWAT police in full riot gear are on Mt. Athos , with an additional 400 police deploying to assist in the pending assault. They have blockaded Mount Athos since Sunday, June 1st so that pilgrims can be stopped from attending services for the Feast of the Ascension.
Their expressed plan is to forcibly remove the peaceful and defenseless fathers and their long-standing Abbot Methodios from their monastery, and replace them with those who support the dictates of Patriarch Bartholomew, who has adopted the heresy of Ecumenism/Humanism.The government has authorized the use of force to resolve this dispute after failing to starve the fathers into leaving their monastery during a 5-year blockade. In this time, they have denied the fathers deliveries of food, medicine, heating oil, and access to medical attention while simultaneously subjecting them to a non-stop campaign of official harassment and intimidation.
The local Greek prosecutor, Vasilis Floridis, has destroyed the livelihood of the fathers who seek nothing more than to keep their Faith and to be left alone to pray in their monastery. Last week Floridis sent a letter to senior government officials calling the fathers a national threat and demanding their removal. This is the same prosecutor who in October 2006 threatened grave consequences to anyone who dared raise their voice to protest these actions.For the last five years, the U.S. Government has cited Greece for its treatment of the Esphigmenou monks in its International Religious Freedom Report issued by the Department of State. The BBC, various newspapers and other media have reported on this persecution and violation of human rights.
We must all keep these fathers in our prayers and at the same time send this information along with our protest to our Federal government officials, the Greek Government, local and Greek media, blogs and elists. This has to be done today and tomorrow.In Christ,+Fr. Panagiotes
Go to Orthodoxyinfo.org for a wide variety of articles on the Faith