The “good” cooperation of the Greek state with the Ecumenical Patriarchate on issues of Mount Athos was mentioned by the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew, upon his arrival at the port of Daphne and his reception by the political governor Athanasios Martinos and the Holy Epistasia.
Bartholomew pointed out the principle of “cooperation” between the Greek state for the political and administrative part of Mount Athos, as it is an “integral” part of the Greek territory and the “Mother Church” that spiritually guides the monastic state, emphasizing this the relationship, over time, respecting the rules, “erased a productive course for the benefit of all” and continued:
“But the violation of this harmony over time is a source of problems that jeopardize the goodwill of the church. Sometimes even here, excesses of secular power, coming from the north, wrecked the calm and quiet of the place, but only for a while, as the vigilant group of the Great Church, as a mother and protector of Mount Athos, the strong obsession of the monks of Mount Athos within the established ecclesiastical boundaries and the rapid reaction of the fellow Greek state eliminated the danger of the nationalization of Mount Athos, with the intrusion of ethnocentrism, so that we would not see the abomination of desolation”.
Bartholomew then arrived in Karyes, where he was welcomed by the abbots and representatives of the twenty monasteries. Doxology followed in the Holy Temple of Protatos.
The Ecumenical Patriarch was addressed by the abbot of the monastery of Koutloumousiou Nikolaos. In his rebuttal, Bartholomew expressed his joy for his visit to Mount Athos and his meeting with the monks, “spiritual children of the mother church”, as he characteristically said and praised their virtues and their spiritual struggle. This was followed by a treat at the building of the Holy Community and dinner at the little house.
The Ecumenical Patriarch spent Friday night in the monastery of Iveron where this morning he performed the Divine Liturgy in the church of Panagia Portaitissa, before leaving for his visits to the monasteries of Karakalos and Megisti Lavra.