Voices from Russia

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Pro-American Underling in Greek Foreign Ministry Fucks Up… Denies Entry to Athos for Putin during Holy Week

President Vladimir Putin (1952- ) on a previous visit to the Holy Mountain 


The Kremlin’s strongly dissatisfied with the Greek Government, after its refusal of the request of Vladimir Putin to visit Mount Athos and Vatopedi Monastery during Holy Week. In particular, Russian leader expressed his personal desire to make a quick day-trip to Mount Athos in Holy Week, and to see Abbot Ephrem of Vatopedi Monastery as part of his visit. In rejecting the application, however, the Greek government gave the Kremlin the excuse that the government of the country would be on holiday at that time. The Kremlin expressed its deep displeasure at the postponement of Putin’s planned trip due to this refusal by the Greek government.

Statement of Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Grigoris Delavekurasa:

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is always welcome in our country. Moreover, beyond the historical friendly links between our two countries, it’d be a distinct honour for Greece to be the first country to host Mr Putin after his recent election as President of the Russian Federation. We’ll be glad to welcome him, and we hope that he’ll visit our country as soon as possible, as early as Easter; he can officially go to Mount Athos or to anywhere else that he desires.


The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement stating that the Minister first learned of the planned trip to Mount Athos of PM Vladimir Putin from media reports. According to Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekurasa, they didn’t receive a request for a visit to Mount Athos from the Government of the Russian Federation, so, therefore, there’s no problem with any such request. The official also said that the Greek side would always be pleased to host the Russian Prime Minister and President-elect, according to the “Amen” news agency.

5 April 2012

Ρομφαια (Romfaia)




Editor’s Note:

This has George Stephanopoulos’ fingerprints all over it. All Russian Orthodox people in the diaspora know how he interfered in the ROCOR reconciliation in the early 2000s through the agency of his sister, who was a nun in the ROCOR (along with other US diplomatic types who intervened directly, such as Herbst). Obviously, he got some pro-American lickspittle underling to reject VVP’s application… and that underling is going to walk the plank, no doubt about it. Don’t cry for them, though… Langley will take care to see that they don’t starve or go without… after all, Langley has to show their patsies that the rightwing radicals are “better” than the Left. What’s interesting is that such people are cut adrift if the rightwingers win… you see, the bottom line’s important. You expected “conservatives” to show human feelings and gratitude… silly wabbit…



Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Abba Ephrem of Vatopedi Freed from Prison and Returned to His Monastery

The god-pleasing Abba Ephrem of Vatopedi (1955- ) no longer sits in a prison cell… there IS a God in Heaven...


Late Friday night, Archimandrite Ephrem, the Abbot of Vatopedi Monastery, returned to Mount Athos after a three-month detention in Korydallos Prison. On Saturday, Aleksandr Gatilin, a spokesman for the Foundation of St Andrew the First-Called told our Interfax-Religion correspondent that yesterday the Appeals Board of the Athens City Court decided to change the measure of restraint of Fr Ephrem. He went on to say that after Fr Ephrem posted bail and filed the necessary documentation, Fr Ephrem went by car to the port of Ierissos, more than 600 kilometres (@372 miles) from Athens, where he boarded a boat. His monks and his spiritual children accompanied Abba Ephrem, and a crowd of about 700 people greeted him at the pier of Vatopedi Monastery. The boats in the harbour tooted their horns and the crowd gathered about Igumen Ephrem sang spiritual songs. The clergy of the monastery were in full festive vestments. The brotherhood, its employees, and pilgrims held lit candles and formed a living “corridor” through which Fr Ephrem passed as he headed a procession to the monastery.

Gatilin told us, “The many believers gathered there celebrated; an Easter atmosphere prevailed that evening in Vatopedi. Before entering the monastery grounds proper, the brotherhood vested Fr Ephrem in his Igumen’s mantle. The bells tolled as the Abbot entered the monastery grounds and went to the Cathedral of the Annunciation, where he served a short molieben”. Addressing the gathering, Fr Ephrem said, “I left on 26 December, the day of the Most Holy Mother of God, and I’m back again on her day (the Orthodox feastday of the Praises of the Most Holy Mother of God). Whilst I was in custody, when I called upon the name of the Most Holy Mother of God, I immediately received the strength that I needed”. Igumen Ephrem spoke of how the inmates gave him “great love and respect”, and how he heard the confessions of almost all the prisoners in the wing of the prison where he lived, along with the confessions of many of the prison staff, too. Abba Ephrem noted, “A devout Christian told me yesterday that I’d be released. I asked him why he thought so. He replied that he had a dream, how he came to the prison, and found no one there, but he met a woman in dark robes, who said, ‘Do not seek Elder Ephrem, he’s here at my house, in Vatopedi’”. He acknowledged that he was grateful for every thing that happened to him, that he forgave everyone, and that he did his best to keep his soul pure, “not provoking a single thought directed against anyone”.

As reported in December 2011, a Greek court ordered Fr Ephrem’s arrest in connection with an investigation of real estate transactions between Vatopedi and the Greek state in 2008. In late December, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias wrote a letter to Greek President Karolos Papoulias asking for Archimandrite Ephrem’s release from custody, expressing surprise at his pre-trial incarceration as “[Fr Ephrem] doesn’t pose a threat to society and repeatedly expressed his willingness to cooperate with the investigation”. Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, the head of the MP DECR, described the arrest of Fr Ephrem as an attack on Athonite monasticism in particular and on Orthodoxy in general. Previously, influential Russian politicians, the MP, the RF MID, as well as the Foundation of St Andrew the First-Called voiced support for Igumen Ephrem. This was in recognition of the fact that Abba Ephrem was part of the delegation from Vatopedi Monastery that brought the Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God to Russia for a stay lasting from 20 October to 28 November, going to various cities throughout the country, where nearly 3 million people venerated the relic, including top political leaders. Commenting on the current changes and Fr Ephrem’s current freedom, the Found of St Andrew the First-Called expressed its support for Abba Ephrem and voiced the hope that “justice and fairness will prevail in the end, with Archimandrite Ephrem cleared of all charges”.

31 March 2012



Friday, 20 January 2012

More Than 100,000 People Signed Online Petition Demanding the Release of Archimandrite Ephrem

THIS is why Abba Ephrem’s in prison… he brought the Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God to Russia, and millions of believers bowed before it, including leaders of the state… and the American special services wanted to punish him for that. You have a choice… you can support the godliness embodied in Holy Rus, or, you can support the demonic Evangelicalism (a religious apologia for the radical rightwing) regnant in the USA, which is Satan’s simulacrum of Christianity. Reflect on this… Paffhausen’s chosen the latter, not the former, course… interesting, no?


According to a website favourable to the release of Igumen Ephrem, the Abbot of Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos, more than 100,000 people signed a petition calling for his release from custody in a Greek prison for dangerous criminals. The website “Free Elder Ephraim” has a petition that you can sign to appeal to the President and Prime Minister of Greece, as well as the Supreme Court (Areopagus) for the release of Igumen Ephrem. A portion of the protest posted on the site reads, “We’re convinced that the decision to remand a respected spiritual elder to preliminary custody is a political provocation, with the aim of undermining the authority of Holy Mount Athos and the Church in general”. A counter of signatures on the site shows that the number overtopped 100,000 on Thursday, reaching 103,155 on Thursday evening. This document is available in Russian, Greek, Serbian, Georgian, Bulgarian, English, Romanian, French, and German.

19 January 2012



Thursday, 19 January 2012

The Actions of the Greek Authorities Against Igumen Ephrem Disgraced Orthodox Greece

The god-pleasing Abba Ephrem of Vatopedi (1955- ) sits in a prison cell… the bum-kissing American-puppet politicians sit scot-free in the Canaries… what’s WRONG with that picture?


The archpastors of the Local Church of Greece strongly criticised the decision by the Greek authorities to arrest Archimandrite Ephrem, the abbot of Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos. In the view of the Greek episcopate, the arrest of the well-known Athonite elder was only a trick by the authorities, who’re trying to cover up their crimes and to divert people’s attentions from the economic problems, thereby, dishonouring Orthodox Greece, RIA-Novosti reported. Last weekend, the cops arrested Archimandrite Ephrem on the orders of a Greek court, and confined him to his cell at the monastery, as the doctors with detected a viral infection, an aggravation of degenerative disc disease, and elevated blood sugar levels. The time limit on the enforcement of the warrant will expire on Monday afternoon.

On a broadcast of Skai TV, Metropolitan Nikolaos Hatzinikolaou of Mesogeia and Lavreotiki said, “I wondered… why should anyone consider [Igumen Ephrem] dangerous? Does he want to sell [the government] the lake a second time? Or, does he want to take the [Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God] and go with it to Russia, and never come back? You can’t see any logic in this decision by the court. I can see the intent in all of this. Firstly, they’re trying to cover the responsibility of those who brought us to the current tragic situation, and, secondly, to attack the concept of the Church in modern society by striking at the person of Fr Ephrem”.

Metropolitan Chrysostomos Sklifas of Patras believed that those who decided to arrest [Abba Ephrem] directed it against the Church itself. Romfea.gr quoted him as saying, “They struck at the credibility of the monks and the Church in a way that defied good-sense and religious feeling, especially during this holy season”. The Church of Greece celebrates Christmas on 25 December, but the Athonite monasteries, as well as Russia, continue to use the traditional Church calendar, and celebrate Christmas on 7 January. For his part, Metropolitan Andreas Trebelas of Dryinoupolis, Pogoniani, and Konitsa and Exarch  of Northern Epirus said, “These actions are mainly directed against the Church, and, of course, against Holy Mount Athos, to the delight of the Church’s opponents”. Vladyki Andreas pointed up that he didn’t know the exact content of the judicial decisions. Metropolitan Nikolaos Protopappas of Phthiotis stated, in his opinion, “The dark forces decided to strike at Athos”.

In an article on the site Romfea.gr, Metropolitan Pavlos Ioannou of Sisanion and Siatista wrote, in his opinion, the arrest of Igumen Ephrem was revelatory, as the police arrested none of the politicians responsible for numerous economic scandals. He said, “Was anyone arrested by the Greek judges for the ‘bubble’ on the stock exchange, for the bribes taken in the Siemens scandal, for the economic catastrophe in our country, for the international humiliation of its people? Finally, the Greek justice, albeit belatedly, found the guilty party, the one responsible for all the troubles… Igumen Ephrem”. Vladyki Pavlos related that with a bitter smile. Metropolitan Athanasios Nikolaou of LimassolAmathous, and Kourion, of the Local Church of Cyprus, supports Igumen Ephrem, who’s a native of Cyprus. Metropolitan Athanasios, who formerly was a member of the brotherhood of Vatopedi Monastery, said, “It seems that Greece has solved all its other problems, but, now, there’s a threat from Elder Ephrem”.

The First Hierarch of the Local Church of Greece, Archbishop Ieronymos Liapis,  Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, said earlier that although he wasn’t fully informed on the situation, however, he was “deeply concerned” by the arrest of [Igumen Ephrem] so close to Christmas. The Monastic Republic of Mount Athos isn’t under the omofor of the Church of Greece; nevertheless, it has close ties with it. The twenty ruling monasteries of Mount Athos are the under the EP’s canonical umbrella, which had no immediate comment on the situation. Greek television also cited in detail the negative comments from Russia concerning the arrest of Igumen Ephrem. For instance, the Foundation of St Andrew the First-Called, which sponsored the tour of the Vatopedi delegation with the Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God in Russia, said, “We believe that such actions can only be explained by the political perspective of certain circles in the Greek establishment, who wish to demonstrate to the West their willingness to deny the principles of spiritual life enshrined in the Greek constitution”. In response to this comment, an unnamed source in the Greek judiciary told Mega TV in Athens, “We must condemn the interference of third parties in Greek justice”.

Emilios Poligenis, the head of the Greek church news website Romfea.gr, told RIA-Novosti that, in the meantime, Fr Ephrem performs his monastic obedience in prison and carries out his priestly duties, saying, “Today, they brought his vestments to the prison, and, on Sunday, he’ll be able to serve in the prison chapel. The elder’s calm and in as good spirits as anyone can be in such trials. The prison authorities treat him very well. Whatever he needs, they give it to him”. He added that they allow Fr Ephrem to follow a special diet because of his diabetes. So far, [Abba Ephrem] doesn’t complain of any health problems, but he recently had a viral infection. According to Poligenis, Fr Ephrem didn’t resist his arrest, and he doesn’t comment on the progress of the case, referring his interlocutors to his lawyers. Metropolitan Nikolaos Hatzinikolaou of Mesogeia and Lavreotiki and Metropolitan Pavlos Tsaousoglou of Glyfada and Aexoni, of the Local Church of Greece, visited Igumen Ephrem in prison. The arrest of Igumen Ephrem provoked a series of protests in Greece and abroad. In particular, the RF MID and the MP expressed their concern over the detention of Fr Ephrem, and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all the Russias urged Greek President Karolos Papoulias to release him from imprisonment.

3 January 2012

Metropolitan Nikolaos Hatzinikolaou of Mesogeia and Lavreotiki



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