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ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE
ANNOUNCEMENT (10.01.2012)

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The Holy and Sacred Synod convened today, January 10, 2012, under the chairmanship of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, for its regular session during which, among other matters, it discussed the issue that has arisen regarding the remand in custody of Fr. Ephraim, Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Vatopedi. Accordingly, the following is hereby announced:
1. His All-Holiness and the Holy and Sacred Synod express their sorrow for the situation that has developed with regard to this matter.
2. The Ecumenical Patriarchate, in accordance with its established policy and out of respect for the independent investigation of the justice system, always avoids any kind of interference in outstanding judicial matters, especially inasmuch as it is not privy to the content of the relevant legal briefs.
3. As a result of statements made on the part of a sister Orthodox Church on this matter, the Ecumenical Patriarchate undelrines that, as its canonical territory, the Holy Mountain indeed comprises Orthodox monks of different ethnicities but this does not lend a Panorthodox character that would permit any kind of intervention therein by other Autocephalous Churches.

At the Ecumenical Patriarchate, January 10th, 2012
From the Office of the Chief Secretary