Father Ephraim of the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi, was suing Greek journalist, Kostas Vaxevanis for two of his articles published on the Internet and in print, concerning exchanges between the monastery and the state.
The court partially vindicated the monastery, ordering Vaxevanis to pay 10,000 euros compensation but not 15,000 euros as demanded by monastery representatives.
The judges’ decision related to an article by Vaxevanis, in which it was claimed by the Monastery that the points of view presented, “reflect the defendants own opinion and contains sharp criticism, far beyond what was necessary.”
The journalist was also charged with deliberately insulting Father Ephraim by publicly showing his contempt.
Regarding the 2012 article in the Greek magazine Unfollow, entitled “Ephraim: In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Spirit of Investment,” the judges ruled that Vaxevanis’ claim that Father Ephraim who was imprisoned at the time, had tried to affect his release through various exchanges, was false and an act of defamation.
The court rejected the monastery’s objections concerning disparaging characterizations on the issue of the Vistonida exchange.
Regarding the Greek journalist’s allegations concerning the Cincture of Theotokos worship and the “economic motive” attributed to Father Ephraim, the court ruled that it could not be proven since the Cincture of Theotokos exhibition area was not “arbitrarily selected” by Ephraim. In addition a large part of the money acquired went to the monasteries where the Cincture was exhibited.