Operating Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan of St. Petersburg and Ladoga Varsonofy
The Greek authorities refused to issue visas to the business Manager of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan of St. Petersburg and Ladoga Varsonofy.
Every year for many years, the Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church makes a fall pilgrimage to mount Athos, informs “Interfax”.
“For many years the Bishop makes a fall pilgrimage to mount Athos, but this time a Greek visa could not be obtained”, – noted in the management of the Affairs of the Patriarchate.
The interlocutor of the Agency stressed that we are talking about civil visa and not visit mount Athos, which is necessary to obtain a special permit.
In recent months, Russian priests started to experience difficulties with obtaining multiple visas to Greece. As reported by the SPM, the rector of the Church of St. Tatiana, Moscow state University, Archpriest Vladimir Vigilyansky wrote in Facebook that in the summer he, despite numerous trips to Greece over the last 20 years, was given a visa valid for a month, and his wife of three years. After unresponsive appeals to the Greek Ambassador the priest decided to apply for a visa at the French Consulate and eventually got it for four years.
Earlier, Greek media have put forward the hypothesis: the diplomatic difficulties caused by the fact that Russia negotiated with the monks of mount Athos in connection with the initiatives of the authorities of Ukraine on obtaining of the Tomos of autocephaly, and the return of property of the Russian Orthodox Church, confiscated by the Greek state after the collapse of the Russian Empire.