On Sunday, 10 December 2023, the Abbot of the Holy Esphigmenou Monastery of Mount Athos, Archimandrite Bartholomew, was welcomed along with his entourage by His All-Holiness Metropolitan Filotheos of Thessaloniki at the Metropolitan Mansion.
During the meeting, wishes were exchanged on the occasion of his recent election as the new Metropolitan of Thessaloniki.
His All-Holiness Metropolitan Filotheos condemned the occupation of the holy monastic buildings on Mount Athos by people who have nothing to do with the Eastern Orthodox Church and expressed his question about the reason for non-execution of certain court decisions.
The Metropolitan especially emphasised the general problem that is created throughout the Church with the uncontrolled activity of the squatters and their supporters, the spreading of false news and the misleading of the faithful members of the Church.
Finally, His All-Holiness Metropolitan Filotheos expressed his undivided support for the fight being waged by the brotherhood of the Esphigmenou Monastery for the canonical return of the central building of the Monastery.