Like many battles within Roman Catholicism, it’s a matter of he said/he said:
According to an Associated Press report, the traditionalist monks threw stones and Molotov cocktails at police and judicial officials as they attempted to storm the building.
Contrary to media reports, they did NOT throw any bombs. I specifically asked Fr. Sava about these alleged “bombs” and he said that they do not have bombs and did not throw any bombs.
That second quote is from the monastery website.
Conflict has been brewing since 1967 when Esphigmenou Monastery raised the black flag for the meeting of the Bishop of Rome and the Patriarch of Constantinople. Ecumenists might largely be discouraged at the lack of progress on their favored front, so I wonder why this has touched this one group of monks so deeply.
When I was at St John’s last week, Fr Anthony Ruff presided and preached at one of the daily Masses. He mentioned participating in the Hymn Society’s recent conference, and relayed some remarks that across denominational lines, traditionalists or progressives seem to have more in common with one another than with the “opposites” in their own faith tradition.
When I reviewed some of the material on the Esphigmenou Monastery site, it felt akin to the more extreme commentators on Rorate Caeli and Adoremus and NLM.
God help his Church.