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PRESIDENT DODON VISITS MOUNT ATHOS DESPITE PROHIBITION

01 april, 2019
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This past weekend, President Igor Dodon visited the Saint Mount Athos, where he prayed and took the sacrament of communion in one of monasteries. He wrote this on his Facebook page, saying that the Lent is very important for all Orthodox Christians.

“I try to visit our monasteries each Sunday and pray for my family, for the Moldovan people and for our country’s future. This weekend, just as this time last year, I decided to visit the Saint Mountain Athos. On blessing of His Holiness Kirill, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, I took the communion in the St. Panteleimon Russian Monastery!”, Dodon wrote.

He wrote that the Russian monastery is closely connected with Moldova: prince of Moldova Scarlat Calimachi was one of monastery’s main cathedral founders.

“Leaving Athos, I asked the St. Mount priests to pray for our people and Moldova”, the President wrote.

As Infotag has already reported, last year the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) the Moldovan Metropolitan Church is a part of broke relations with the Ecumenical Constantinople Patriarchate. This happened after the Constantinople Patriarchate recognized the autocephaly that is complete church independence of the new Ukrainian Orthodox Church. In protest the ROC broke Eucharistic communication with Constantinople. The Russian Church announced that since that time on, the ROC clergy is not allowed to conduct joint worship together with hierarchs and the clergy of the Constantinople Patriarchate.

“Orthodox Christians from Russia are not allowed to take the sacrament in churches that are part of the Constantinople jurisdiction or participate in other sacraments. Patriarch Kirill will not be remembering Primate of the Constantinople Church Bartholomew during the worship”, the ROC said.

Press secretary of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexander Volkov said that ROC Christians are from now on not allowed to pray in monasteries of the Greek peninsula Athos, as the prayer link between the Moscow and the Constantinople Patriarchates was broken.

“Athos is a canonic territory of the Constantinople Patriarchate with all the consequences that entails”, the priest said.

In total, there are 20 monasteries on Athos, 17 of which are mostly inhabited by Greek brethren. The St. Panteleimon monastery was traditionally regarded as Russian. Before 2016, a part of Russian believers was regarding this monastery as Ukrainian: its abbot Yeremya and most of the clergy were from Ukraine. In 2016, after Yeremya died, Evlogy from Russia took his place. As a result, Russians gradually replaced Ukrainians in the monastery clergy; the number of Russian monks grew to 50% of the total brethren.

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