Keep your faith! An open letter to the monks of Mount Athos

by Orthodox Witness on August 28, 2019

On August 26, Metropolitan of Zaporizhia and Melitopolis Luke (Kovalenko) sent an open letter to all the monks of Mount Athos regarding the upcoming visit to the Holy Mountain by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in October. Metropolitan Luke is with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (the only Church in Ukraine recognized by all the autocephalous Orthodox Churches with the exception of Constantinople). The letter in the original Russian was published on his telegraph page.

An open letter to the monks of Mount Athos
by Metropolitan of Zaporizhia and Melitopolis Luke

Christ is in the midst of us, my dear readers!
Dear and beloved brothers in Christ, my heart!

Today God is visiting us with trials in which we must show the firmness of our faith and unwavering faith to the holy canons of our Mother Church.

On October 19, 2019 arrives by you “Patriarch” Bartholomew, who tarnished his heart and his hands with the betrayal of God and in violation of His holy commandments. Thanks to the action of this person, our holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church is drowned in blood and tears. Priests and parishioners are beaten, churches are seized, and our mass media is throwing mud and slander.

We thank God for giving us the opportunity to show our faithfulness to His Word and to follow His Will.

We ask you to stand in solidarity with us in this faithfulness to Christ and to the canons of the Orthodox Church.

To those of you who stand in true faith, we ask you to remain firm in your convictions, not to yield to any persuasion, or to fear the threats, because God is with us!

Those who, because of so-called “obedience,” are ready to follow the call of the “wolf in sheep's clothing”, I declare with all responsibility for the following words of mine before God and before His Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church: you betray Christ!

It is not the father and the good shepherd who is coming to urge you to recognize the schismatic nationalists as the canonical Church, but a thief and a robber. It is not the bearer of the “image of meekness,” but the successor in spirit and the follower of the work of Nestorius, Sergius I and other heresiarchs, John XI Vekkos, Meletios IV Metaxakis and Athenagoras Spirou, the same as he, servants of the enemy of the human race. The ill-fated Mr. Bartholomew already lost the right to be called not only a patriarch but also an Orthodox Christian.

The statements of some of you, who are ready to recognize the actions of this person as lawful for the incorporation of unrepentant dissenters into the Church's body, only for the sake of securing the opportunity to venture on the Holy Mountain in the future, causes deep sorrow.

With tears, I ask you to think, “Is it worth the thirty silver coins to betray your faith and beliefs? Do ordinary fear, cowardice and treachery hide behind the word ‘obedience’? Will your prayers and accomplishments bought at such price be pleasing to God?”

The price of this betrayal is a reservation at the Last Judgment of the place next to Judas and the torturers who crucified our Lord. Our Church is already paying for this betrayal with blood and pain. Do you want to be condemned with our executioners, or, perhaps, it is better, having suffered here for Christ, to be glorified with Him? (Rom. 8:17)

Those of you who have decided that “if Patriarch Bartholomew comes with the schismatics from Ukraine, then we will receive him him, because there are no schismatics”, think, who is more guilty: the child or on the mother who gave birth to him and raised him?

We know about the inevitability of terrible times, and the trials we are going through are not the worst. If we cannot be firm in this, then how can we stand in the future?

Answering for every word before God, I am sure that Mr. Archondonis is a man that the devil struck with a dreadful disease—pride, and because of this he made him his weapon. His task is to split the Church, to sow enmity, to tempt the minds, to destroy those who are not firm in faith, to shake the doubters, to bring embarrassment to their minds, and to cause temptation. From a patriarch he becomes an apostle of Satan and a devil for the faithful!

My dear brethren in Christ, I beseech you, along with the apostle, to keep your faith and “keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21)!

I ask your holy prayers for my unworthiness!

Metropolitan Luke
Metropolitan of Zaporozhye and Melitopol
Aug. 26, 2019

This translation was made from a Greek rendering and from a modified Google translation from the Ukrainian by Fr. E.H.

1 thought on “Keep your faith! An open letter to the monks of Mount Athos”

  1. I pray this gets resolved. I stand with serbia & Russia brothers in Christ till the end. When we fall all will hear the trumpets.

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