Communiqué of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on Ephraim of Vatopaidi
On January 10, 2012, under the presidency of His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate discussed the emerged issue of the imprisonment of the Abbot of the Monastery of Vatopaidi Ephraim.
The Synod expressed its sorrow for "shapening of the situation in relation to the decision of this matter." But according to its tactical consistency, the Synod "respects the independence of the justice system, always avoiding every interference in pending court cases, since, after all, it is ignorant of the contents of the case files."
The Ecumenical Patriarchate recalled that the Holy Mountain, its canonical territory, "is constituted of Orthodox monks from various nationalities, but this adds nothing to its Pan-Orthodox character by allowing any kind of interference within it by any Autocephalous Church."