Athos monasteries are to close their gates before OCU head
In case Epiphany Dumenko comes to Athos, some Greek monasteries will close their gates.
Athos monasteries Philotheos and Caracal stated that they would close their gates if Epiphany Dumenko, head of the “holy church of Ukraine”, arrives at the Holy Mount Athos, said Sergei Shumilo, director of the International Athos Heritage Institute in Ukraine on Facebook.
According to him, the Greek and Slavic monasteries of Athos (Greek Philotheos and Caracal, Bulgarian Zograf, Serbian Hilandar) during an extraordinary session of the Holy Kinot of the Holy Mountain declared that they recognize the only canonical Primate of the UOC – His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy of Kiev and All Ukraine.
According to Sergey Shumilo, "those who do not support the initiatives of the Patriarch of Constantinople explain their position by saying that the Tomos on autocephaly was not given to the fullness of the Ukrainian Church but only to a smaller part, while the majority do not participate in this."
Athos monks are concerned that Phanar granted the Tomos to the UOC KP, he explained. And he added that the participants in the session of the Holy Kinot proposed to introduce the Ukrainian issue for an all-Orthodox discussion of the heads of the Local Orthodox Churches.
Sergei Shumilo also said that only 5 of the 20 representatives of the Athos monasteries backed the initiative of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to send from Athos a delegation of observers to Kiev for the enthronement of Dumenko.
“The information in the media about 7 monasteries has not been confirmed,” said the director of the International Athos Heritage Institute. “As a result, after discussing this issue, the Holy Kinot of Athos decided on January 28 not to send a delegation to Kiev and not to send greetings to the head of the OCU, as well as to continue to refrain from supporting parties to the church conflict in Ukraine.”
Among Athos ascetics and hermits many declare to no longer make a liturgical mention of Patriarch Bartholomew, others adhere to the non-intervention position, Shumilo concluded.
Recall, on January 28, 2019, an extraordinary session of the Holy Kinot of Mount Athos was held, the participants of which decided to refuse the request of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to send the Athos delegation to the “enthronement" of the OCU head Epiphany Dumenko.
“Metropolitan” Epiphany, in his turn, invited Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the UGCC, to this event, since he plans to actively promote the cooperation of the new church structure with the Uniates.