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Orthodox monks chide Greek church leader over Vatican visit

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/01/03/europe/EU_REL_Greece_Vatican.php Orthodox monks chide Greek church leader over Vatican visit The Associated Press
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2007
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      http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/01/03/europe/EU_REL_Greece_Vatican.php

      Orthodox monks chide Greek church leader over Vatican visit
      The Associated Press
      Published: January 3, 2007

      ATHENS, Greece: Monks at a reclusive Orthodox sanctuary criticized a
      landmark visit to the Vatican by Greece's church leader Archbishop
      Christodoulos last month as endangering centuries-old church traditions.

      "We bear a heavy responsibility before the faithful people of Greece
      who regard (us) as being the inviolable guardian of holy tradition,"
      the monks from the sanctuary of Mount Athos in northern Greece wrote.
      Their letter was published Wednesday in the Athens daily Ethnos.

      "It is with anguish that we declare that Mount Athos does not agree
      with common prayers, participation in liturgies or other devotional
      meetings that give the impression that the Orthodox Church accepts
      the Roman Catholics as a full church," the monks wrote in the letter
      signed by all 20 monastic representatives on the self-governing peninsula.

      Christodoulos met Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on Dec. 14 and
      signed a joint declaration calling for inter-religious dialogue and
      reaffirming common opposition to abortion and euthanasia.

      Since becoming pope in 2005, Benedict has taken steps to improve
      relations between the Catholic and Orthodox churches, which have been
      divided for nearly 1,000 years and are still split by long-standing
      questions of doctrine.


      He visited Turkey Nov. 28-Dec. 1 and met with Ecumenical Patriarch
      Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the world's 250 million Orthodox Christians.

      The Athos monks wrote that Benedict's efforts "may have had some
      benefits of secular significance, but included events which are
      contrary to the foundations of Orthodox practice."
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