August 1, 2014

Russian monasticism and the legacy of Communism

The Zenit news service interviews Fr. Peter Mescerinov, vice-director of the Center for the Spiritual Formation of Children and Adolescents of the Moscow Patriarchate, about the "new and enduring challenges of Russian monasticism." ZENIT: What is the reality of these [monastic] communities today? Father Mescerinov: The principal tragedy of our ecclesial life today is the absolute lack of community. There are communities that are born in contrast to the position of the Church in a general sense; however, there are no communities as such as a norm of community life. This is linked no doubt to the Soviet legacy, because in that period every aggregation was regarded with suspicion and in danger of being repressed; in fact, an anti-solidarity instinct has been created in the very conscience of many generations of persons. When people enter the Church today, educated according to this mentality, it is very difficult [for them] to feel and even to understand that it is a … [Read more...]

Report: Monks defrauding Greek state again

Maybe what they need on Mt. Athos are mandatory classes in business ethics. From the Greek daily Kathimerini: Another ‘unholy’ land swap under scrutiny Just a few months after news broke about the Vatopedi land-swap scandal, the Supreme Court prosecutor this weekend called for an investigation into another suspicious exchange between the Orthodox Church and the state. Giorgos Sanidas ordered a preliminary investigation into the transfer of a prime piece of land on the Aegean island of Skyros to a Mount Athos monastery and the purchase by the Greek state, allegedly at an excessive price, of a much smaller plot belonging to the monastery. Sanidas wants an Athens prosecutor to determine whether the monastery’s acquisition of the 3,700-hectare plot on Skyros should lead to any individuals being charged with defrauding the state. He notes that the court rulings relating to the land transfer “were the result of misleading evidence and testimonies” and therefore are “unlawful.” … [Read more...]