NEWS: On-going Ecumenical Pat. Bartholomew's Persecution of Esphigmenou Monastery on Mt. Athos: Igoumenos Methodios of Esfigmenou Monastery sentenced to 20 years in prison in a Greek court todayFrom: Saint Edward Brotherhood <info@saintedwardbrotherhood.
Sent: Saturday, January 28, 2017 1:14 PM
Subject: Igoumenos Methodios of Esfigmenou sentenced to 20 years in prison in a Greek court today
Monk, Abbot of Rebel Greek Monastery Sentenced to 20 Years
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESSJAN. 28, 2017, 10:33 A.M. E.S.T.
THESSALONIKI, Greece — A monk and the abbot of a Mt. Athos monastery deemed schismatic by the Greek Orthodox church have been sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison by a court in this northern Greek city.
Antypas, one of 118 monks at the 1,000-year-old monastery, was sentenced for throwing firebombs at a court bailiff who was trying to evict the monks from a building in Karyes, capital of the Mt. Athos monastic community, in July 2013.
Abbot Methodios was convicted for incitement. Another six monks, sentenced to 10 years as accessories, were freed on appeal.
Antypas and Methodios will have to go to prison, if found, as the court decided that any appeal will not suspend their sentence.
The Esphigmenou monks are in a bitter dispute with the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch, spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, whom they accuse of treason for seeking better relations with the Catholic Church.
Patriarch Bartholomew I has created a new brotherhood and is trying to take possession of the monastery, but police efforts to dislodge the schismatic monks have failed.
"Esphigmenou monastery is our home; we will die there," one of the defendants told the court.
Alkiviadis Grigoriadis, lawyer for the defendants, said the dispute was over religious dogma and should not "under any circumstances" be settled in court.
from: Bp. Sergios (GOC St. Gregory Sinai Monastery, Kelseyville, CA)
Hierodeacon Methodios just emailed me saying that today (in Greece) Igoumenos Methodios of Esfigmenou was sentenced by a Greek court to 20 years in prison.
The charge was that after the Greek court and the local police had ordered Esfigmenou monks to leave their konaki in Karyes, Fr Methodios ordered them to stay and to throw molotov cocktails at the police trying to batter down the door to the konaki.
On those grounds, then, the long sentence.
The result of the ruling of course is that it will be some time before Igoumenos Methodios will be back at Esfigmenou; and there are solid grounds for thinking that he may be banned from entering Athos for the rest of his life even after he has served whatever part of the 20 year sentence he ends up serving in prison.
In Christ’s love fraternally, asking your prayers,
from: (Bp. Auxentios, St. Gregory Palamas Monastery, Etna, CA)
Thank you for sending this. Just after receiving your note, Father Theodosios, the Abbot of our monastery in Phyle, sent me the following list of the sentences:
Elder Methodios, a total of 20 years imprisonment
Monk Mardarios, a total of 10 years and four months imprisonment
Monk Abraham, a total of 10 years and four months imprisonment
Monk Savvas, synergy, a total of 10 years and four months imprisonment
Monk Lysimachus, synergy, a total of 10 years and four months imprisonment
Monk Gaius, synergy, a total of 10 years and four months imprisonment
Monk Orestes, synergy, a total of 10 years and four months imprisonment