The Abbot of the Monastery of Esfigmenos, Bartholomew, made a serious complaint regarding the building complex of the Monastery which is under occupation.
As he said, presenting videos and photos, Russian “hyper-nationalists” – led by a priest – entered the building, carrying the flag of the former Russian Empire, together with the corresponding coat of arms of the national emblem and the image of the Tsar.
This visit took place before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Abbot Bartholomew commented that the relations of the squatters with Russian hyper-nationalists, nostalgists of the Russian Empire, are not coincidental. He also stressed that the same banner has been in the squatters’ headquarters for a long time.
The Abbot of Esfigmenos Monastery reminded us that “already a century ago when the liberation of Northern Greece from the Ottoman Empire took place, the Russians tried to seize the Mount Athos. The Russians leave no reference to anything Russian or Orthodox Christian unexploited. Their old plans were overturned by the regime change in Russia. But the dreams of centuries are not forgotten.”
He added that the revelation of plans for Russian exarchates can only cause concern about the potential for the Russians to cause unrest on Mount Athos.
“The current highlighting of the “historical concerns” of the Russians, the conquest of territories of other states with the justification that they are “historical Russian territories”, and various occasional proclamations by Moscow that it will “protect” Russians in various states, Orthodox Christians in general, “Russian interests” and “Russophiles” everywhere, can only worry the Greeks.
The tactics of the Russians are well known. If someone does not submit to their will “with good behavior”, “they have other ways”. “Where there is no reason, a rod falls” he noted.
The Abbot of the Monastery of Esfigmenos even warned that “if the Greek government cannot protect the Mount Athos, as required by the Greek Constitution, it is certain that Russia will “offer” to “protect” it.
What is the Greek government waiting for to wake up? To become a base for Russian ships and submarines on Mount Athos? To be realized the historical dreams from the time of the Russian Empire? To be shared all the space from the Struma to the Evros among the Russians and the Turks, in order to secure the Russian ambitions in all the eastern Balkans?”
It should be recalled that orthodoxtimes.com had reported in its previous publications on the Moscow Patriarchate’s plans to create a Russian “exarchate” in Greece with anti-vaxxers and old calendarists.
Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, in charge of foreign relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, was clear: After the Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Moscow Patriarchate intends to establish an exarchate in Constantinople to meet the needs of the Russian-speaking faithful in Turkey.
“The Russians will not stop in Constantinople,” point out Greek Metropolitans who have studied in depth the movements of the Russian Church.
The plan of the Moscow Patriarchate is to “press” in all areas of the SE Mediterranean and the Middle East, according to information analyzed by the competent departments and the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Patriarchate of Jerusalem is friendly to Moscow as it does not want to lose the support of the Russians. “For reasons of survival,” as the Patriarch of Jerusalem has stated to his own people.
In Turkey, in the heart of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Russians want to enter for reasons – mainly – of semiotics. The Russian plan envisages also the “invasion” in Cyprus through Metropolitans who are close to the Russian Church.
Many of the Bishops and parishes never agreed with the choice of the Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostom to support Phanari and to recognize the Autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine. A move that angered the Moscow Patriarchate and the Kremlin.
The continuation of the Russian plan envisages the establishment of a Russian “exarchate” in Greece. An “exarchate” that can count, according to rough estimates, even 400,000 members!