An Open Letter
To the Holy Abbots and the Holy Representatives of the Sacred Twenty Monasteries in the Sacred Community of the Holy Mount Athos
Holy Abbots and Holy Fathers,
We desire at the present time to express our deepest concern and sadness for all that is taking place for years now, in our Holy Orthodoxy, the deconstruction of the teaching of the Holy Apostles and of the Holy Fathers and the antithesis to all the sacred canons enacted by the ecumenical and local synods. We wonder if some ecumenical synod has been assembled and abolished the canons which forbid the joint prayer with heretics, or if the Pope repented and renounced the heresies of the Filioque, of primacy, of infallibility, of unleavened bread, of the purifying fire [purgatory], of created grace, of the immaculate conception of the Most Holy Theotokos, and so many others, most of which he has been condemned and anathematized numerous times by Orthodox Synods and by the entirety of the Holy Fathers.
Heaven was angered and the Holy Fathers exceedingly saddened by the spectacle and by hearing about all that took place at the Phanar (neighborhood in which the Ecumenical Patriarch resides in Istanbul-Ed. note) during the feast of the Holy Apostle Andrew on the 30th of November of the current year.
Unprecedented and unheard of things in the two thousand year history of the Church. “The scornful marginalization of the dogmas of the Fathers, the annihilation of the Apostolic traditions, the introduction of novelties into the churches by contemporary personalities,” as St. Basil the Great says, regarding comparable events during his own time.
Everything happened literally upside-down.
Instead of the heretical Pope being cast down, as we see the heretics depicted in the Icons of the Holy Synods, and being ejected from the Divine Liturgy, as required by the liturgical command, “the doors, the doors, in wisdom let us attend,” we placed him on a high throne, where he sat and along with others, he too, wore an omophorion, the Orthodox deacons censed him, the Patriarch exchanged the Liturgical Kiss with him at the “let us love one another,” and he recited as though being the one in charge, the proestos, the “Our Father…,” and the chorus of the sacred cantors chanted to him the “Many Years,” and a specially composed hymn from an Athonite hymnographer – Lord, have mercy! – if, of course, the journalistic communications are true.
And he was permitted to give the congregation his blessing, rather, his madness according to the sacred canons.
We allowed the Church militant on earth to be divided from the Church triumphant of the Saints in heaven and to be united to churches and assemblies of evil heretics.
We insulted all of the holy martyrs and confessors who struggled to the point of blood against the heresies, because we present their struggles, their martyrdoms and their confessions as unbeneficial and useless.
Will not the blessed Holy Mountain Fathers who were martyred by [Ecumenical Patriarch John - Ed. note] Bekkos because they refused to receive him and to commemorate the Pope, be sorry, seeing us not only to reject their example with our silence, but to do the opposite?
Why then did all of the previous martyrs undergo martyrdom and why did the confessors stand fast in their profession of the Faith?
You know, Reverend Fathers, better than we do, of all the anti-Orthodox and blasphemous actions, statements, and decisions of the Ecumenical Patriarch and other heads of institutions, Abbots and Bishops who loudly and overtly advise – bareheadedly – the acceptance and teaching of the panheresy of Ecumenism.
It is the greatest ecclesiological heresy of all ages.
It rejects the uniqueness of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church and, equates it to the heresies, by accepting their Mysteries as having and communicating, sanctifying and saving grace.
Besides recognition of the baptism of Papists and Lutherans, we also have participation in the common chalice with Monophysites and in many instances with the Papists in the Cyclades [islands in Aegean Sea, Greece Ed. note] and in the Diaspora.
We have now realized with greater sadness, that the spiritual leadership of the Holy Mountain of the last years has not confronted with fortitude and confessional courage, these manifest appearances of apostasy, as the Athonite Fathers of bygone times did.
The Patriarch has gauged our responses and because they have been half-hearted, and many times non-existent, he proceeds without any obstacles into union with the Pope, who is unrepentant and remains in heresies.
He gauged us and was exceedingly glad also at his last visit to the Holy Mountain to make it appear that he came to receive the consent and blessing of the Athonites for all the things that he had already planned to do with the Pope a few days later.
We, the humble priestmonks and monks, in the form of confession disclose to you that we have been scandalized by the silence and inaction of our spiritual authorities on Mount Athos, and together with us, all the people of Greece and all Orthodox around the globe, as well as those who are sympathetic to monastics.
They all are waiting to hear the voice of Mount Athos.
From you, the wisest and most sage, we have learned that when the faith is endangered, we are all accountable if we are silent and shrink back, as St. Theodore the Studite says. Particularly, a monk must not allow the slightest innovation in matters of the faith, according to the same holy Father and great monastic leader and organizer of monastic life and the Elder of us all. He did not fear the threats and the persecutions of the iconoclastic, Emperors and Patriarchs, but even within the environs of Constantinople, within the enclosure of the Great Sacred Monastery of Studion, he organized a procession with a thousand torch bearing monks, who held the forbidden holy icons in their hands.
Ten thousand monks in Palestine, under leadership of Saints Savvas the Sanctified and Theodosios the Cenobite, these great monastic leaders, assembled together long before in Jerusalem, and saved Orthodoxy from the heresy of Monothelitism.
Who is going to save the Church today from the panheresy of Ecumenism and the deceit of Papism?
The letters of protest, which the Sacred Community has sent from time to time to the Ecumenical Patriarch did not bring about any results.
There is no more time for words. It is time for action.
We, unlearned and wretched sinners, do not want to teach you, nor do we want to present ourselves as confessors.
We just want to set at ease our Orthodox monastic conscience; We want to especially honor the holy martyrs and confessors, particularly those ones martyred by Bekkos.
We want to honor and follow their conduct.
To not shrink back and place the monasteries and our brotherhoods above the purity of the faith, above God, and the truth.
We believe that after so many oral and written protests and pleas, after so many retractions [i.e., going back one’s word], retreats, and compromises, the only thing which will gladden the Orthodox and shame the heretic, is a cessation of the commemoration of the Patriarch's name (as Esphigmenou Monastery has bravely done for decades now under its fearless Abbot Archimandrite Methodios and his ever-memorable predecessors the holy Abbots Athanasios and Euthymios - is currently being mercilessly persecuted by His All Holiness and the Greek Government and some in the Holy Community in Athos-Editor's Note) in the services and not only that, but the cessation of commemoration of the names in all the services, of all the bishops agreeing with him wherever they may be around the World who remain silent.
Gather together, holy Fathers, the monks of all the Monasteries, of the Sketes, of the Kellia, in a militant all monastic assembly, either within or outside the Holy Mountain and knock down the towers of heresy, of Papism, of Ecumenism.
Take on the good fight of the Faith.
We, if you remain inactive, will prefer doing things pleasing to God and not things pleasing to man.
May God enlighten us all, and may the Most Holy Theotokos cover and bless Her Garden and protect the Orthodox Church from those warring against Her and from those heretics warring against the Saints, as well as from cowardly shepherds who leave the flock unprotected from attacks of the wolves.
Finally, asking for your blessings, we conclude with respect,
Hieromonk Ephraim, former abbot, Elder of the Skete of Apostle Andrew and the brotherhood with me, of the Holy Monastery of Vatopedi.
Elder Hieromonk Eustratios, Great Laura Monastery.
Elder Hieromonk Poimen, Holy Monastery of Zographou
Elder Hieromonk Basileios, Holy Monastery of Zographou
Elder Hieromonk Bessarion, Holy Monastery of Zographou
Monk Nikodemos (Bilalis, Sacred Cell "of the Presentation" from Kapsala
Monk Artemios, Great Laura Monastery
Priestmonk Hilarion, Great Laura Monastery
Paisios Monk, Great Laura Monastery
Savvas Monk, Great Laura Monastery
Sacred Deacon Chariton, Great Laura Monastery
Chariton Monk, Karoulia, Great Laura Monastery
Athanasios Monk, Karoulia, Great Laura Monastery
Elder Vlasios Monk,Kserokalyvo Viglas, Great Laura Monastery
Akakios Monk Sacred Place of Holy Trinity (Kyr Isaiah) Great Laura Monastery
Elder Isaiah Monk, Kellion of the Birth of the Mother of God, Great Laura Monastery
Cherubim Monk, Sacred place of the Archangels, Great Laura Monastery
Hieromonk Damaskinos, Kellion of Holy Trinity at Karyes, Great Laura Monastery
Elder Nektarios Monk, Kellion of Holy Trinity at Karyes, Great Laura Monastery
Elder Theolyptos Monk and the fathers with him; Kellion of the Sacred Forerunner,St.Anne's Skete, Great Laura Monastery
Hieromonk Gabriel, Sacred Kellion of St. George(Kartsounaion) Sacred Skete of St. Anne, Great Laura Monastery
Hieromonk Chrysostomos Kartsonas, Great Laura Monastery
Elder Kosmas Monk,Sacred Hut of St. Demetrios, Skete of Saint Anne, Great Laura Monastery
Elder Panteleimon Monk, Sacred Kellion of St. Panteleimon, Sacred Skete of Holy Trinity, Great Laura Monastery
Elder Sophronios Monk, Sacred Hut of Entrance of the Theotokos, Sacred Skete of Holy Trinity, Great Laura Monastery
Parthenios Monk, Sacred Hut Entrance of Theotokos, Sacred Skete of Holy Trinity Great Laura Monastery
Athanasios Monk at Vouleutiria, Great Laura Monastery
Elder Hieromonk Serapheim, Kellion of All Saints, Skete of Saint Anne, Great Laura Monastery
Elder Daniel Monk, Saint Anne's, Great Laura Monastery
Elder Gerasimos Monk Sacred Hut of St. George, Katounakia, Great Laura Monastery
Elder Hieromonk Benediktos, Kellion of Ss Konstantine and Eleni, Vatopedi Monastery
Paisios Monk, Kellion of Archangels (Savvaion) Karyes, Hilandari Monastery
Silouanos Monk Sacred Hut of St. Nicholas, Nea Skete, St. Paul Monastery
Gabriel Monk Kellion of Koutloumousiou of Saint Christodoulos
Dositheos Monk, Koutloumousiou Monastery Place
Elder Nektarios Monk, Sacred Hut of Holy Trinity, Skete of Koutloumousiou Monastery
Paisios Monk, Kellion of Saint Barbara, Koutloumousiou Monastery
Elder Moses Monk, Kellion St. John Chrysostomos, Skete of St. Panteleimonos, Koutloumousiou Monastery
Elder Hieromonk Abraaham, Sacred Hut of St Gerasimos Kefalinias, Skete of St. Panteleimonos, Koutloumousiou Monastery
Elder Spyridon Monk, Kellion of St. Nicholas, Koutloumousiou Monastery
Theodoulos Monk, formerly of Koutloumousiou Monastery
Elder Hieromonk Chrysostom, Kellion of St. Spyridon of Kerkyra, Koutloumousiou Monastery
Hilarion Monk, Sacred Place of Doheiariou Monastery ( Platon area)
Elder Nikodemos Monk, Kellion of St. Nektarios Kapsala, Pantokratoros Monastery
Hieromonk Gabriel, Kellion of Quick to Hear Mother of GOD, Pantokratoros Monastery
Isaac Monk, Kellion of Birth of Mother of GOD, Kapsala, Pantokratoros Monastery
Elder Athanasios Monk, Kellion of St . Athanasios, Pantokratoros Monastery
Elder Meletios Monk, Birth of Theotokos, Kapsala, Pantokratoros Monastery
Elder Gregory Monk Kellion of St. Nicholas, Kapsala, Pantokratoros Monastery
Elder Onoufrios Monk, Kellion Dormition of Theotokos, Karyes
Elder Nicholas Monk, Kellion of St. Demetrios, Karyes
Hieromonk Gabriel, Kellion of Holy Archangels (Kombologas) Karyes
These are the names, thus far, of Fathers and Monks as of this publishing, who up to now commemorated Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.There are many others who are now asking to add their names to this list of Holy Mountain Orthodox confessors ...