Rebel monks convicted in church row
(UKPA) â€“ Sep 24, 2009
A court in Greece has convicted a rebel abbot and 13 of his monks of obstructing the functioning of their 1,000-year-old monastery by refusing orders to leave it.
Court officials in Thessaloniki said the 14 were given one-year suspended prison sentences.
The occupants of Esphigmenou Monastery are in a bitter fight with Orthodox Christian authorities.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, has declared them schismatic and ordered them out of the walled monastery on the autonomous Mount Athos peninsula in northern Greece.
He is backed by an older eviction order from Greece’s highest administrative court.
The monks oppose efforts to improve relations between the Orthodox Church and the Vatican.
Copyright Â© 2009 The Press Association. All rights reserved.
4 days after their conviction the monks where working in the courtyard of the Esfigmenou monastery. They are digging a trench removing the old stones on the right low hand corner of the photo. They received us kindly, gave us water, cafe and raki and showed us the way to Chilandariou. In their shop I bought a black T-shirt for my brother Wim with an image of the monastery and an unknown text at the back. Later in Ouranoupoulis wearing this T-shirt my brother was told that the text meant: Orthodoxy or Death!
More about this conflict. Scroll for all posts on Esfigmenou,
Photos by hv