"We remain on the side of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and we will not tolerate its humiliation," they said at a meeting on Monday.
At the meeting held behind closed doors and without any publicity, much was said about the issue that has sparked controversy among the leaders of the Orthodox Churches.
The Athonites emphasized that this particular issue should make them feel proud. "It has been clear in this case too," they noted, "that Hellenism and the Ecumenical Patriarchate have the Primacy in Orthodoxy," while they agreed that everyone should stand by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
They even agreed that it is preferable for the Holy Community to be silenced at this time so as not to create misinterpretations.
They suggested waiting for the conditions to mature more. "Besides," they said, "we are not a Church, and we are not called upon to make a decision on recognition."
"What is important is to maintain the unity of the Holy Monasteries and to send in every direction a clear message that no one will be allowed ‘to instrumentalize’ Mount Athos. Because Mount Athos concerns everyone," all those present argued unanimously.
"We want to preserve the peace and unity of the Church," they noted at the meeting. "However, as Athonites, we do not accept Hellenism and the Ecumenical Patriarchate to be humiliated by anyone."
They also added that "The Holy Community has wisdom and experience so that Mount Athos will not be turned into a tool and a lever of pressure for purposes other than in the general interest."
Dec. 15, the Congregative Convocation where Orthodox Church in Ukraine was created took place in Kyiv. Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Rus Epiphanius (Dumenko) was appointed as a leader of the newly created church.
Jan. 5, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew signed Tomos of autocephaly for OCU, and Jan. 6, he passed the document to Metropolitan Epiphanius.