Support for the OCU is growing on the holy Mount Athos, which hosts 20 monasteries with hundreds of monks.
OCU priest Mykhailo Syvak, who recently visited this Orthodox shrine, told about this in an interview with the Spiritual Majesty of Lviv.
“The monks who spoke with us said that more and more monasteries on the Holy Mount Athos are beginning to be sympathetic to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. And so far, there are monasteries that are very open to us, and there are those that look at us with fear because of Russia’s influence,” said the clergyman.
Father Mykhailo says that he spoke with the hegumen of the Xenophon monastery, Elder Alexis. This monastery and this abbot are very supportive of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The hegumen really cares for Ukraine and for the trouble of the war that we are going through. Abbot Alexis ordered that the monks pray for Ukraine every day.
At the same time, according to the priest, the influence of the Russian Church in Greece remains significant.
“We saw exhibits from the 18th and 19th centuries – a lot of gifts and donations to Mount Athos were made from the Russian Empire, in particular from the tsars. That is, the Russian church and state have a long-term perspective strategy to influence certain spiritual centers in the world through gifts and finances. This was back in the tsarat, and now we also see this fierce struggle to have influence wherever possible. It is felt. But despite this influence, people who have an analytical mind and try to investigate the situation dispassionately understand the whole truth,” explains the OCU priest.
It should be recalled that the OCU runs 8,500 parishes and 80 monasteries.