Athonite geronta – to Phanar head: Repent and leave a slippery slope

Elder Gabriel of Karyaes

Elder Gabriel of Karyaes from Koutloumousiou Monastery called Patriarch Bartholomew an enemy and a traitor to the Church for violating canons and harboring heresies.


The Athonite monk urged the head of Phanar to repent and get off the slippery road that damages the inter-Orthodox unity of millions of Orthodox Christians around the world. An open letter from Elder Gabriel of October 24, 2019, addressed to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, was published on November 4, 2019 by katanixi.gr. The UOJ cites a translation of the letter from Greek.

 “Your Holiness,

During your recent visit to the Holy Mountain, an abode of the Holy Mother, I really wanted to receive your blessing and kiss your feet but I can’t do this because it has long been immoral. Do you want to hear why?

1. In fruitless and ingenious dialogues with heretics, you have betrayed the One Church, Orthodoxy, recognizing many times the "diversity" in the holy teachings of our Church and the ecclesiastical character in sectarian gatherings of monophysites, the pope and protestants of the Most Holy Theotokos and iconoclasts; earlier you officially and irreversibly cursed the Holy Fathers as 'unfortunate victims of the arch-evil serpent' in order to deem yourself freed from the need to obey their God-inspired calls.

2. You are an enemy of our Triune God and our Mother of God, because you maintain institutional friendship with conscious and unrepentant heretics and Gentiles, 'corrupt and sinning and self-condemned' primates of heresies (Titus: 3.11), the forerunners of dishonor, and with them you will have the same barren future, away from the Living Earth, unless you return to Faith. For St. Chrysostom says: ‘He who accepts the enemies of the Tsar cannot be a friend of the Tsar, he is not worthy of life, but he is let to go with his enemies together and he endures their hands’ and that ‘hatred for the sake of Christ is much better than friendship for His sake’. Do you not remember the God-inspired words of the Holy Scripture: 'For the ungodly and his ungodliness are both alike hateful unto God' (Wisdom of Solomon 14, 9)?

3. Because of your patriarchal illness and under your protection, any heresy and innovation have been harbored not only in the dioceses of the Throne but also in the Church of Greece or elsewhere. Your clergy, honorary conferences and publications of theologians and thinkers, praisers of your "enlightened Patriarchate", who received awards from Your Holiness, are all pioneers and exarchs of all new theological errors and institutional innovations, from post-patristic theology and ecological and pagan Earth-worship to the reinstatement of schismatics in Ukraine without the latter’s repentance. All these spiritual wolves, which are thunderously condemned by the Orthodox clergy and flock, are admitted and justified by you, and you are their pastor and Patron; in the patristic wording, you are absolutely unanimous and guilty together with them: ‘How can he be not equal with them in his wickedness <...>?’

4. Being another Pope, for three decades now, you have been cultivating a perception in the Church plentitude that everything that any "bishop" and especially the Ecumenical Patriarch arbitrarily wants is the law of the Church. How much you are criticized, like the Pope, by all the Saints whom you criticize for this! How right for you is the condemnation of St. Palamas of the doomed heretic, your predecessor – Patriarch John Kaleka: ‘he himself was the Synod <...>’.

5. By your actions and your teachings you do not honor the Apostolic Canons of the Holy Local and Ecumenical Councils and the teachings of the Fathers, which strictly prohibit joint prayers, friendship and concelebrated worship with heretics, while the Church considers it ‘not proper for the Orthodox, for holy canons cannot be convertible by half ...’ Thus, you show that you do not believe in God, in the immortality of the soul, in the invisible world, in Paradise and Hell, in the Future Judgment and in retribution. Perhaps, Your Holiness, your frequent meetings with representatives and philanthropists from Masonic and other related orders testify to you and your somewhat mysterious and high status and position which are incompatible and hostile to the Orthodox Faith?

6. Unfortunately, those who are familiar with tactful leadership of Your Holiness and your employees, which does not foresee legitimate church processes, those who oppose your methods of spreading ecumenism are isolated in their own environment and are forced to either retreat or remain silent. Where possible, you use political leverage, as it was the case on the Holy Mountain, and what Athanasius the Great considers specific to the heresy of Arianism <...>.

Of course, Your Holiness has declared Orthodoxy in your statements many times, but they are contrary to your actions and your primary duty. Yet, according to Gregory Palamas, even if you had slightest hesitations concerning Orthodoxy, you would not be worthy of the holy rank <...>.

You forced the soul of every Orthodox Greek to face the dilemma: ‘either to devote oneself to the love of the God-man of Christ or to the heretic archon-patriarch’. This is exactly what St. Cyril of Alexandria writes to the heretic Primate of Constantinople and your predecessor Nestorius 1600 years ago: ‘What happened to us who are required through godliness to love Christ the Savior above all of us? <...>’ No doubt, Your Holiness, the damage you have inflicted on the Body of Christ, on the Church, is a rebellion against the Savior himself.

Over 28 years of your Patriarchy, you have never lightened the hearts of true Orthodox Christians – you lighten only secular hearts being rendered honors by the ‘princes of this evil world’ not for the glory of salvific Orthodoxy but for the sake of overthrowing Orthodoxy initiated by Your Holiness in every possible way.

Your Holiness,

Repent and get off the broad and slippery path you are constantly moving along, which is detrimental to the Orthodox faith and inter-Orthodox unity of millions of baptized souls, for which you will give a fearful ‘ecumenical’ answer to the Supreme Judge. Beware that uncreated and endless hell is full of unrepentant hierarchs and patriarchs, for the church story knows perfectly well about the condemned heresiarchs and their high retinue, the first of them being the fallen Apostle and the traitor Judas Iscariot, since the Divine Judgment will begin with us, churchmen: ‘For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?’ (1 Pet. 4:17). So, ‘walk’, Your Holiness, '<...> while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you' (John 12:35, 9:4).

Monk G. Gabriel,

Koutloumousiou Cell of Venerable Christodulos of Patmos.”

As reported by the UOJ, on October 19-22, Patriarch Bartholomew paid a visit to Athos to participate in the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the consecration of the Catholicos of Xenophon Monastery. 5 “bishops” of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU – Ed.) came to Mount Athos together with the patriarch.

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