The statements by Archimandrite Bartholomew, Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Esfigmenos on Mount Athos, provoked the intervention of a prosecutor in regards to the monks who refuse to get the coronavirus vaccine and also use extreme rhetoric to influence the believers under their spiritual roof not to do so.
The head of the Thessaloniki Prosecutor’s Office ordered a preliminary investigation in which the professor (of the new, legal Esfigmenos fraternity) will be called to testify, naming those to whom he refers, in order to determine whether they commit the offense of spreading false news.
Speaking on ERT radio, the Abbot called for the intervention of Justice, stressing that “when death spreads around us, not only on Mount Athos but all over the world, no one can ignore it.”
“Why are we monks above the law? Can we act uncontrollably and do whatever we want?”, he wondered, saying that “when death spreads around us, not only on Mount Athos but all over the world, one can not ignore what is happening”. According to official data, in the last 10 days, two monks have lost their lives on Mount Athos and another five are being treated in hospitals in Thessaloniki, while only 40% of the monks of the monastic state have been vaccinated.
“Let justice come in, let the Prosecutor investigate”
It is not a political issue whether some people try to politicize it, it is purely medical, which affects all people, it does not concern only a portion of the population. All people are dying from the pandemic,” he said characteristically.
He himself stated, among other things, that a purely medical issue has been turned into a spiritual one, complaining that “consciously some monks lie, using the name of Mount Athos or even of Esfigmenitos Monastery”.
Mount Athos received a severe blow from Covid-19 as there are several monks who have been ill since the beginning of the pandemic and some of them reposed in the Lord due to complications of the disease.