The Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi issued an announcement in response to the reactions and negative comments of journalists about the video of the procession that took place for the cessation of the pandemic in the Holy Monastery.
In its announcement, the Holy Monastery stated that it was a decision of the Holy Community of Mount Athos to perform a procession and prayer to the Most Holy Theotokos, from all the Monasteries and Hermitages, in order to save the human race from the terrible threat of the pandemic and not an arbitrary initiative of the Monastery.
At the Holy Monastery of Vatopedi, the same announcement continued, all the necessary sanitary measures that have been suggested by the competent health authorities for the prevention of Covid-19 have been taken and are being taken. These measures are: a. The monastery remained closed throughout the pandemic, b. In the summer during which the lockdown stopped, the Monastery received a small number of visitors for specific works who had to be tested for Covid-19 and only with this certificate they could enter.
The announcement also clarified that during the second wave of the pandemic the Monastery remains closed, the hospitality by order of the Holy Community has ceased, the people inside the monastery, fathers and the few working laity have all been tested for Covid-19 so that there is no risk of virus transmission between them.
It was also emphasized that the corresponding tests have been procured and are being carried out, as a doctor who knows the subject convents in the Monastery and all the necessary measures are taken continuously and meticulously to avoid the transmission of Covid-19.
Regarding the specific procession, the announcement of the Monastery stated that it took place exclusively inside the precinct of the Monastery, that is, in the places where the fathers of the fraternity live.
Also during the procession the participants are cantors who are divided into two choirs which chant alternately and antiphonically. During the procession and the chanting it is impossible for the priest and the chanters to perform their duties wearing protective masks.
Finally, in the announcement it is emphasized that from the Procession none of those present was exposed to health risk and any attempt to highlight such news is unfortunate and spreads false impressions.
In the announcement it is highlighted that, “no one, as it was said by the media that presented the issue, asked us for answers”.