MOUNT ATHOS, Greece – In a major development which will no doubt further steer the course of crisis in Orthodoxy in an improved direction, the abbots of Athos monasteries have issued a policy which effectively bars schismatics from entering its holy grounds. They are declared now that they are requiring that pilgrims from and visitors from Ukraine have proper documentation which confirms that they are members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate. The abbots have asked His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry to issue UOC pilgrims certificates confirming their affiliation with the canonical Church in order to enter the grounds.
The published document sent to the Kiev Metropolis of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, states that all pilgrims from Ukraine who are going to Holy Mount Athos will have to carry with them, besides the usual documents on such trips (passport and diamonitirion), a certificate that testifies to their affiliation with the canonical church.
As stated in the document that was sent to each eparchial bishop of the UOC, this initiative comes from the monks of the Holy Mountain:
“The Office of the Kiev Metropolis of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, gives notice to all, according to which, in response to the request of the abbots of Holy Mount Athos, the clerics, monks, and laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church who will go on a pilgrimage to Holy Mount Athos are now required to have a certificate of their affiliation with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The certificate indicating the period of stay must be made on the letterhead of the eparchial administration, signed by the eparchial bishop and sealed.”
As reported earlier, the inhabitants of several sketes of Athos appealed to the Kinot of the Holy Mount with a request to ban Ukrainian schismatics from entering the territory of the Holy Mount Athos, and this request has now been honored.