The Friends of Mount Athos


Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia

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Athos News

Mt. Athos News -- Reportage on Current Events

FoMA's Athos News pages provide links to reportage of current news events involving Mt. Athos. Occasionally they may also provide translations of reportage in languages other than English, or links to translations.
The Friends of Mount Athos takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the reportage here listed; opinions expressed in this reportage do not represent the views of FoMA or its officers and executive board. (Please see disclaimers)

Here you will find linkage to reportage accessible on the Internet of events currently happening on the Holy Mountain.

For the most part, only news reportage is here listed; FoMA makes no systematic effort to keep up with reportage or "chatter" appearing in blogs, the social media, and private websites.

FoMA members are invited to contribute links to Athos news articles for inclusion on these pages.

Current and upcoming FoMA events are separately listed on our Events page.


Mount Athos Chronicle

The current civil governor (διοικητής) of the Holy Mountain is
Athanasios Martinos (Ἀθανάσιος Μαρτίνος) (since 28 August, 2019)
The previous civil governor, Konstantinos Dimtsas (Κωνσταντίνος Δήμτσας) served in this position from 13 August, 2010, and before him Aristos Kasmiroglou (Αρίστος Κασμίρογλου), held this office from 26 April, 2010 - 13 August, 2018.
2019-2020 is the year of the fifth tetrad for the Epistasia. The members of the Epistasia for 2019-2020, who took office at Karyes on 14 June, 2019, are:
Gerondas Symeon of Dionysiou Monastery, protepistatis (Γέροντας Συμεών Διονυσιάτης)
Gerontas Efthymios of Zographou Monastery (Γέροντας Ευθύμιος Ζωγραφίτης)
Hieromonk Makarios of Panteleimonos (Russian) Monastery (Ιερομόναχος Μακάριος εκ της Ι. Μ. Αγίου Παντελεήμονος, Ρωσικού)
Hieromonk Ephraim of Konstamonitou Monastery (Γέροντας Εφραίμ Κωσταμονίτης)

News Reports (recent at top)

Pemptousia, October 21, 2019, Ecumenical Patriarch proclaims four new Athonite saints (in Greek)
Oecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew announced the enrolment in the church's Hagiology of the Athonite saints, Daniel of Katounakia, Hieronymos of Simonopetra, Joseph the Hesychast, and Ephraim of Katounakia..... (View the complete report with images at the link above, in Greek)
Greek Orthodox Diocese of America, September 10, 2019, Pilgrimage Visit of the Abbot of the Vatopedi Monastery and Fathers of Mount Athos to the Holy See of the Mother Church
The Abbot of the Vatopedi Monastery, Archimandrite Ephraim and the brothers of the Monastery, Frs. Evdokimos and George, as well as the Hieromonk Chrysostom, Geron of the Holy Cell of Saint John Chrysostom in the Skete of Koutloumousiou, made a pilgrimage visit to the Holy Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate today, Tuesday, Sept. 10, in order to express their respect to the Ecumenical Patriarch and receive his blessing on the occasion of the beginning of the new ecclesiastical year, which started September 1..... (View the complete report with images at the link above)
Greek Orthodox Diocese of America, September 5, 2019, The New Governor of Mount Athos Visits the Ecumenical Patriarch
The Archon of the Holy Great Church of Christ, Mr. Athanasios Martinos, was recently appointed by the decision of the Greek government and is due to take up his duties in the near future.... (View the complete article with images at the link above)
Romfea News, Gheorghe Anghel, August 3, 2019, Ecumenical Patriarch will visit Mount Athos in October
On Saturday, August 3, a Delegation of the Holy Community of Mount Athos, consisting of Monk Nikodemos Lavriotis, Monk Nikodemos Agiopavlitis and Hieromonk Sisois Xenofontinos, had a cooperation with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, so as to schedule the visit by Bartholomew to Mount Athos, 19-22 October, Romfea reports. (View the complete article with image at the link above)
Greek Orthodox Diocese of America, August 5, 2019, A Delegation from Mount Athos visited the Holy See of the Mother Church, in preparation for the visit of His All-Holiness to Mount Athos in the Fall
A delegation from the Holy Monastic Community of Mount Athos visited His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019 in order to prepare His All-Holiness’ visit to Mount Athos October 19-22. The delegation was comprised by Monks Nikodimos of Great Lavra monastery, Nikodimos of Agiou Pavlou monastery and Hieromonk Sisoei of Xenophontos monastery.... (View the complete article with image at the link above)
Romfea News, Emilios Polygenis, July 2, 2019, Protest of the Mount Athos community for a Ukrainian hierarch
The Holy Community of Mount Athos has sent a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, George Katrougalos, with which it expressed its strong protest regarding the visit of an Hierarch of the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine. (View the complete article with image at the link above)
RISU Religious Information Service of Ukraine, Ecumenical Patriarchate, June 18, 2019, Patriarch Bartholomew Warns Pro-Russian Mount Athos Monastery of Sanctions if it Further Deniew Access to OCU Delegation.
As reported by the Greek media outlet Vimaorthodoxias, based on the data from its own sources, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sent to Abbot Eulogius, Abbot of the Monastery of St. Panteleimon on Mount Athos, the requirement to explain the reasons for his negative attitude to the Ukrainian delegations of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Сerkvarium reports.

According to the same source, if the monks of the Russian monastery that is subordinated to Constantinople do not put aside their aggressive attitude, Patriarch Bartholomew will be compelled to take the steps required to keep the canonical order and obedience to the Mother Church.

Hegumen Eulogius comes from Russia, as it has been the case for all the abbots of this monastery since the end of the 19th century, and the monastery has more links with the Russian Orthodox Church than with the Phanar.

It is recommended for the pilgrims from Russia to take communion in this very monastery in spite of the decision of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on full breakup of Eucharistic relationship with the Phanar.

As reported, the pro-Russian Monastery of St. Panteleimon on Mount Athos in Greece on February 9 closed the door to the representatives of the new Church of Ukraine.

At that time, Metropolitan Pavlo of Odesa of the OCU was on a pilgrimage to Mount Athos with the blessing of the Ecumenical Patriarch. When the Metropolitan arrived at the Monastery of St. Panteleimon, the brethren informed him that he had no blessing to worship there.

Thereafter the Abbot ordered to close the gates of the monastery for the representatives of the new Ukrainian Church. In addition, the Abbot explained to His Eminence and his entourage that “the monastery does not recognize them, nor do they plan to recognize the OCU.”

Vima Orthodoxias (Βήμα Ορθοδοξίας), Ianni Papanikolaou, June 14, 2019, Change of Epistasia at the Holy Mountain (in Greek).
Tomorrow [Friday, 14 June] at Karyes on Mount Athos at the Holy Church of the Protaton, the established June 1st (according to the old calendar) change of the Holy Epistasia takes place.... The full article may be read in Greek at the above link. For photographic coverage: Ορθοδοξια 14 June, "The Change of the Holy Epistasia at the Holy Mountain -- the Athonite ceremony that has ancient roots -- rich photographic material" (Η αλλαγή Ιεράς Επιστασίας στο Άγιο Όρος- Η Αγιορείτικη τελετή που έχει παλαιές ρίζες- Πλούσιο Φωτογραφικό υλικό; text in Greek).
Orthodox Christianity, Kiev, June 4, 2019, Abbots of Mount Athos Ask Ukrainian Pilgrims To Bring Official Statement of Belonging to Canonical Church.
...The abbots of the monasteries of Mt. Athos have asked His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, the primate of the canonical Ukrainian Church, to issue pilgrims certificates confirming their belonging to the canonical Church, reports the Union of Orthodox Journalists, which published a letter sent to every diocesan bishop from the chancellery of the Kiev Metropolis.... The Patriarchate of Jerusalem is also making a special effort to strictly verify the jurisdiction of all clergy from Ukraine after schismatics attempted to serve at the Holy Sepulchre. (Read the complete article which reviews the history of this issue at the link above).
Romfea News, Athens, May 9, 2019, Elder Emilianos from Simonopetra Monastery reposed in the Lord on Thursday, May 9.
Elder Emilianos from Simonopetra Monastery reposed in the Lord on Thursday, May 9. The funeral will be held tomorrow in Annunciation monastery in Ormylia, Chalkidiki.

Elder Archimandrite Emilianos, born Alexandros Vafides, who was the Prior of the Simonopetra Monastery from 1973 to 2000, was born in Piraeus in 1934. However, he had origin of Asia Minor. He moved to Trikala in 1960 and was ordained as a monk on December 9, 1960....Elder Aimilianos retired as abbot in 2000. (View the complete article with image at the link above) Biography from Orthodox Wiki:
Romfea News, Athens, April 23, 2019, Elder Serapion of Simonos Petra monastery reposed in the Lord.
On Monday, April 15, the Oikonomos of the Annunciation Monastery in Ormylia, Elder Serapion of Simonos Petra monastery, reposed in the Lord. Elder Serapion has been battling over the past years with cancer with patience and humility. The funeral will be held tomorrow on Tuesday, April 16. (View the complete article with image at the link above)
Romfea News, Athens, April 23, 2019, Monastery of Esphigmenou: We sympathize with the relatives of the victims in Sri Lanka.
An announcement on the latest attacks on churches on Easter Day in Sri Lanka was issued by the Holy Monastery of Esphigmenou. (View the complete article with image at the link above)
Romfea News, Athens, April 22, 2019, Athonite Community: Is there an ongoing effort to abolish the values of the Orthodox Greeks?
The Holy Community of Mount Athos sent a letter to Minister of Justice Michael Kalogirou and MPs regarding the revision of the Penal Code. (View the complete article with image at the link above)
Romfea News, Athens, April 18, 2019, 17-year sentence for Molotov cocktail attack in the Esphigmenou monastery.
17 years’ imprisonment and a fine of EUR 600. This is the ruling of the Mixed Jury Court of Appeal of Thessaloniki to the instigators and perpetrators of the Molotov cocktails attack in July 2013, against riot police, in the buildings of the Esphigmenou monastery in Mount Athos. (Read the complete article at the link above)
Romfea News, April 17, 2019, Metropolitan Mikhail of Lutsk and Volyn of the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine held a visit to Mount Athos..
It must be mentioned that Metropolitan Mikhail visits Mount Athos for the first time after the granting of autocephaly status.

Metropolitan of Lutsk, accompanied by 10 pilgrims, visited the Holy Community, and several monasteries on Mount Athos.

According to Metropolitan Mikhail, many Athonites expressed their support for the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine, while they believe that other Churches will recognize the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine year after year.

It is worth noting that Metropolitan of Lutsk performed the Divine Liturgy at the Xenophontos monastery, and thanked Prior Alexios, who was present at the enthronement of Metropolitan Epiphanius in Kiev.

The Metropolitan and the pilgrims also thanked God for the opportunity to visit Mount Athos, while holding Ukrainian flags they chanted the National Anthem of Ukraine.

Finally, Metropolitan Mikhail and pilgrims from Ukraine will visit the Meteora as well as the Church of Agios Dimitrios in Thessaloniki.

The monks inhabiting the buildings of Esphigmenou Monastery, one of the 20 ruling monasteries on Mt. Athos, considered squatters by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Sacred Community of Mt. Athos, were sentenced to 6-months imprisonment with a 3-year suspension for fraud against the state, according to a recent announcement from the New Esphigmenou Brotherhood, reports Romfea. (Read the complete article at the link above)
Orthodox Christianity, Mount Athos, February 10, 2019, Metropolitan Pavlos of Odessa of the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine was very impressed after his returning from Mount Athos, where he paid a visit, accompanied by 7 priests of the Metropolitan of Odessa.
"Nobody shut the door upon us! All the rumors were inaccurate and propaganda,” said f. Valerios, priest of the Holy Metropolis.
Orthodox Christianity, Mount Athos, February 10, 2019, Seven Monks Leave Vatpedi Monastery on Mt. Athos After Visit of Ukrainian Scnhismatic Delegation
Orthodox Christianity, Mount Athos, February 9, 2019, St. Panteleimon's Monastery on Mt. Athos closes its gates to schismatic bishop
Other reportage:, in Greek, Union of Orthodox Journalists, in Russian
Orthodox Christianity, Kiev, February 2, 2019, Schismatic Head Epiphany Dumenko Visits Abbot Ephraim of Vatopedi in Hospital
Orthodox Christianity, Kiev, February 1, 2019, Abbot Ephraim of Vatopedi, Arriving in Kiev on Ultimatum, Suffers Heart Attack
The National Herald, April 19, 2018, Antonis H. Diamataris, U.S. Ambassador Visits Mt. Athos

U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in Karyes, April, 2018
The Panagia’s Garden, Mount Athos, is one of the unique places in the world.
It is not surprising that Geoffrey Pyatt, the American Ambassador to Greece, visited, and like so many others before him – as certainly many others after him will be – was excited.... The above link is for subscribers, but you can view the complete article here



Ongoing news articles for the current year will be reported here as they come to our attention.

Current Announcements
The Friends of Mount Athos issues announcements on significant Athonite matters such as changes and developments in administrative and spiritual leadership on the Holy Mountain as they come to our attention.

News of Related Interest
Reportage on Mount Athos & its Wider Influence, and on the Activities of FoMA or its Members

General News From Past Years:
2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 |

Header Image: View of the Holy Mountain from a balcony at Stavronikita Monastery, with elements of the katholikon in the foreground.
Photograph by Robert W. Allison, © 2008.