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 links 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 of the Holy Mountain is
Aristos Kasmiroglou (Αρίστος Κασμίρογλου) (since April 26, 2010)
2017-2018 is the year of the third tetrad for the Epistasia. The members of the Epistasia for 2017-2018, who took office on June 14, 2017, are:
Hieromonk Gervasios of Iviron Monastery, protepistatis (ο Γέροντας Γερβάσιος ιερομόναχος Ιβηρίτη)
Hieromonk Evarestos of Pantokrator Monastery (Γέροντας Ευάρεστος ιερομόναχος Παντοκρατορινός)
Monk Nikiforos of Philotheou Monastery (Γέροντας Νικηφόρος μοναχός Φιλοθεΐτης)
Hieromonk Ieronymos of Simonos Petras (Simonopetra) Monastery (Γέροντας Ιερώνυμος ιερομόναχος Σιμωνοπετρίτης)

News Reports

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

The Friends of Mount Athos, October 25, 2017 Major-General WB "Sandy" Thomas 29 June 1919 - 22 October 2017
FoMA member and cartographer, Peter Howorth, shared with us an obituary by Peter Brown, son-in-law of Sandy Thomas, and below he relates how the histories of FoMA and Sandy are linked.

WB «Sandy» Thomas 1919-2017
Last Sunday, Sandy Thomas died. He was 98 years old, and lived a very full life. After the war, he wrote a book called ‘Dare to be Free’, that talked about his exploits during the war, his captivity and subsequent escape via the Holy Mountain. This book, I know, was instrumental in attracting many people to Mount Athos. He was first cousin to my late father-in-law, and I was volunteered to provide some maps for the re-publication of ‘Dare to be Free’. This led me to the FoMA path-clearers, and thus to a new life as a cartographer. He took huge pleasure when I called him from the Holy Mountain, and always told me that he thought about Athos every day! I last spoke to him more than a month ago. Peter Howorth, Christchurch NZ

The National Herald, August 5, 2017 Minister Approves Mount Athos’ Exemption from Paying Pending Property Taxes
Digital Policy Minister Nikos Pappas approved on Friday an amendment that exempts Mount Athos monasteries from paying any pending property tax. Autocephalous Orthodox Churches Communique, June 27, 2017, published by Aurelian Iftimiu Romanian Skete Prodromos denies cessation of commemoration of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
The Romanian Skete of St John the Forerunner (Prodromos) of Mount Athos has issued a communique in which it denied the cessation of commemoration of the Ecumenical Patriarch at the divine services, as states false information disseminated by the media. Moreover, the communique sheds light upon the case of some monastics, excluded from the Skete, who have spread false information on behalf of the Romanian Skete. (Full text of the communique from the Skete follows....), June 15, 2017 The New Holy Epistasia of the Holy Mountain Installed (in Greek)
According to the provisions of the Charter of the Athonite Monastic State, the ceremony of change of the Holy Epistasia was conducted on Wednesday morning....
Sofia, Bulgaria, April 7, 2017, Pavlof Films Press Release For the first time a film crew is allowed in Zograf monastery, Mount Athos
For the first time a film crew is allowed to shoot so closely the extremely conservative and isolated community in one of the 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries on Mount Athos, where only men are allowed. The feature length documentary, The Garden of Theotokos, a PavloFFilms production, is a close look into the monastic life in the Holy Monastery of Zografou “St. George”. It tells the mysterious story of an icon of the Assumption.......
Read in Bulgarian | Read in Russian
The situation has intensified on Mt. Athos after more than fifty cells ceased commemoration during the Divine services of His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew, the ruling bishop of the Holy Mountain, reports AgionOros......
According to the Greek site, more than fifty Athonite monastic kalyves and cells have ceased commemoration of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, as reported by a monk of one of these cells.....
Αγιο Όρος, March 23, 2017, Βήμα Ορθοδοξίας, Αγιορείτικα Νέα Αγιο Όρος: Δεκάδες Κελλιά διέκοψαν να μνημονεύουν τον Πατριάρχη
Ανεξέλεγκτη είναι η κατάσταση στην Αθωνική Πολιτεία με το μνημόσυνο στον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο. Πληροφορίες που καταφθάνουν στο ΒΗΜΑ ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΙΑΣ μιλούν για ένα Αγιο Όρος διαιρεμένο σε Πατριαρχικούς και μη...... (Τhe situation in Mount Athos with the commemoration of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is out of control. Information reaching Bima Orthodoxias speaks of a Mount Athos divided into patriarchal or non-patriarchal....)
Moscow, January 25, 2017, Pravoslavie RU Massive influx of pilgrims is problem for Mt. Athos—abbot of Simonopetra
The massive flow of pilgrims has become a serious problem for the inhabitants of Mt. Athos, says Archimandrite Elisha, abbot of the mountain’s Simonopetra Monastery....
Thessaloniki, January 28, 2017, Costas Kantouris, Associated Press MONK, ABBOT OF REBEL GREEK MONASTERY SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS
A monk and the abbot of a Mt. Athos monastery deemed schismatic by the Greek Orthodox church have been sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison by a court in this northern Greek city.....
March 14, 2017, The Russian Orthodox Church. Dept. for External Church Relations METROPOLITAN HILARION’S PILGRIMAGE TO HOLY MOUNT ATHOS
Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations (DECR), with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, was on a visit to Holy Mount Athos from March 11 to 13, 2017. During the same days, Bishop Antoniy of Bogorodsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate office for institutions abroad, began his working visit to Mount Athos......

GOOD NEWS: Abbot Ephraim of Vatopaidi and his Co-defendants Acquitted!
March 21, 2017, Court acquits all defendants in Vatopedi Monastery land swap trial
An Athens criminal court on Tuesday acquitted all 14 defendants charged in connection with a property swap between the Vatopedi Monastery in the Mount Athos monastic community in northern Greece and the Greek state. The monastery’s abbot, Ephraim, and a monk, Arsenios, were among those acquitted......
The court of appeals for serious crimes, consisting of three judges, has acquitted all defendants in the case of a land exchange between the Greek government and Vatopedi Monastery......
Athens, March 21, 2017, RIA-Novosti В Греции признали невиновными подсудимых по делу Ватопедского монастыря
РИА Новости, Геннадий Мельник. Апелляционный суд по тяжким преступлениям в составе трех судей признал невиновными всех обвиняемых по делу об обмене землями между правительством Греции и Ватопедским монастырем, передает Афинское агентство новостей.......

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.