Author Topic: Rebel monks!  (Read 850 times)


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Rebel monks!
« on: December 20, 2006, 11:41:00 am »
7 injured as monks storm monastery
 THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) -- Two groups of monks clashed on Wednesday at a monastery facility in Mt. Athos, resulting in at least seven injuries, police said.
 Fighting broke out between a group of rebel monks occupying facilities of the 1,000-year-old monastery of Esphigmenou, and a group of legally recognized monks on the outside.
 The rebel monks, unrecognized by the Orthodox Church, reacted strongly when the outsiders attempted to force their way into the monastery's representative offices in Karyes, the administrative center of the medieval community. They were trying to enter in order to begin construction of a new building.
 The clashes turned violent as the occupying monks attacked the intruders with crowbars and fire extinguishers, breaking a door down.
 Seven monks were reported injured. Four were taken off the peninsula by boat and hospitalized at Polygiros, including two with head wounds, while three more were being taken to hospital, according to Athos police.
 Esphigmenou monastery -- one of 20 in the all-male medieval community in northern Greece -- has been the scene of a long-running dispute between Orthodox Church authorities and rebel monks at Esphigmenou, who bitterly oppose efforts to improve relations between the Orthodox Church and the Vatican.
 Both Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, leader of the Orthodox Christian church, and Greece's highest administrative court have ordered their eviction, but the monks have refused to budge.
 In October, a Thessaloniki court handed down two-year suspended sentences against nine monks and former monastery members for illegally occupying Esphigmenou's offices.