Monday, 26 December 2011
A few minutes ago, the members of the Holy Community of the Holy Mountain expressed their overwhelming support for Abbot Efraim of the Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi.
According to information, today, Monday 26 December, 2011, a delegation from the Holy Community of the Holy Mountain visited Abbot Efraim in his cell in the monastery.
The members handed over a letter of support to the Abbot, stressing that the entire Community expressed its unstinting confidence in and respect for his person.
In their letter, the Representatives of the Holy Monasteries of the Holy Mountain emphasized that the decision to place Abbot Efraim in preventative detention was an affront to the religious sensibilities of the people, the most holy Church and Athonite monasticism.
The letter reads as follows:
SEAL OF THE HOLY COMMUNITY
Ref. No. Φ. 4/5/3069
The Very Reverend
of the H. M. of Vatopaidi
and the honourable brotherhood with him
We embrace Your Reverence in brotherhood in the Lord.
It is with profound sorrow and great astonishment that we have been informed of the issue of an arrest warrant for the immediate preventative detention of Your Reverence.
It causes us and the whole Athonite world deep pain that this hasty issue and dispatch of the above arrest warrant should have occurred on the days leading up to the glorious feast of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, as do the inexplicable haste and immediate mobilization of a powerful force of police and the urgent delegation of a prosecutor, in disregard of Athonite procedures, for Your arrest, as if it were the case of an extremely dangerous malefactor. These actions are an affront to the religious sensibilities of the faithful, of our most holy Church and of Athonite monasticism.
Holy fathers and brethren, we share your profound pain at this unprecedented tribulation and the cross you are bearing during these holy days, when your Spiritual Father, known from his youth for his love of the Church and monasticism, as well as his contribution over many years to Your Holy Monastery and the Holy Mountain in general, has been dragged away and taken into detention. His treatment has been an offence against the whole Athonite fraternity.
In sharing the pain of Your trial, we express through this present letter, sealed with Our stamp, the unanimous support of Our Holy Community, encompassing the holy Abbot with Our undivided respect, trust and genuine love in Christ.
We pray from the depths of our hearts that Our Lord, Who became incarnate for Our salvation, through the intercessions of Our Lady the Mother of God, the guardian of this Holy Place, will strengthen all of You, will bring this trial to a satisfactory conclusion and will disperse the shafts of the enemy and of those who are against the Church.
With much love in the Lord and with brotherly affection, we remain
All the Representatives and Stewards
of the twenty Holy Monasteries of the Holy Mountain of Athos.