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Author Topic: Prince Charles is off to Mount Athos  (Read 8900 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 11, 2006, 03:38:47 PM »

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/5/11/apworld/20060511215551&sec=apworld


Thursday May 11, 2006

Prince Charles in northern Greece for visit to monastic sanctuary

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) _ Britain's Prince Charles arrived in northern Greece on Thursday before a planned visit to the 1,000-year-old monastic community of Mount Athos, officials said.

The heir to the British throne landed at an airport near Kavala, about 173 kilometers (107 miles) east of the northern city of Thessaloniki, accompanied only by members of his guard.

A private yacht later Thursday was to take him to the sanctuary, an important site for Orthodox Christianity that is only open to male visitors.

Charles has made several trips to the self-governing community, and is due to stay at the Vatopedi Monastery.

Both Charles and his father, Prince Philip, are members of the Friends of Mount Athos, a group that supports the community, which has 20 monasteries.

Mount Athos, about 110 kilometers (70 miles) east of Thessaloniki, has been an autonomous monastic state since Byzantine times.

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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2006, 07:01:16 PM »

Would someone mind explaining to me or sending me to a link an explanation of the tradition of only letting males into Mount Athos?

Because I find it kind of interesting that all males, even those who aren't Orthodox, can go to one of the most holy places for Orthodox Christians, but females can't.
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2006, 07:08:03 PM »

I heard non-Chalcedonians aren't allowed in.

Is that true?

God bless.

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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2006, 08:01:21 PM »

Would someone mind explaining to me or sending me to a link an explanation of the tradition of only letting males into Mount Athos?

Because I find it kind of interesting that all males, even those who aren't Orthodox, can go to one of the most holy places for Orthodox Christians, but females can't.

It dates back to the Byzantine Empire., Females are distracting when your trying to pray.
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2006, 10:36:20 PM »

Males are also distracting when you're trying to pray, however I'm not aware of any female-only places in the Orthodox world.

There has to be more to it than that.
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2006, 10:46:08 PM »

Males are also distracting when you're trying to pray, however I'm not aware of any female-only places in the Orthodox world.

There has to be more to it than that.

There are places that are generally reserved for females, excepting priests and bishops who come to serve.

But there is more, depends on who you talk to, though. Answers range from purity, to the entire peninsula functioning as a large monastery (which traditionally have places reserved only for men.) Ultimately, is is because that is the Tradition of the Church.
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2006, 11:33:10 AM »

In my understanding,there is a reason that women are not allowed on the Holy Mountain.  According to Tradition, the Theotokos set foot on Mt. Athos, and prayed to Christ that it be made her personal garden.  Christ gave it to her and said that the mountain would "give birth" to many seeking salvation (monks).  So time goes on, and the Holy Mountain becomes inhabited by monks.  They regard the island as personally belonging to the Theotokos; she is their Abbess, and as such, she is the only woman allowed there (and there have been sightings of her on the Holy Mountain).  This is her island.  Again, this is my understanding. 

With Love in the Risen Christ,

Michael
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« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2006, 12:49:14 PM »

Males are also distracting when you're trying to pray, however I'm not aware of any female-only places in the Orthodox world.

There has to be more to it than that.

CHRIST IS RISEN!

When I visited a female monastery, there were areas that men were not allowed, even the dinning room.  A separate table was set up outside the dinning area for men.
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« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2006, 01:25:32 PM »

According to Tradition, the Theotokos set foot on Mt. Athos, and prayed to Christ that it be made her personal garden.ÂÂ  Christ gave it to her and said that the mountain would "give birth" to many seeking salvation (monks).ÂÂ

hahhhahhhahhhaaa!!! hA hA hA hA hA!!! sTOP! yOU'RE KILLIN ME!
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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2006, 01:48:24 PM »

hahhhahhhahhhaaa!!! hA hA hA hA hA!!! sTOP! yOU'RE KILLIN ME!

? That is the tradition and I have seen icons of the Birth-giver of God dressed as the Abbess of the Holy Mountain and of her boat landing on the same.
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« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2006, 01:55:11 PM »

hahhhahhhahhhaaa!!! hA hA hA hA hA!!! sTOP! yOU'RE KILLIN ME!

Show some respect for our faith or be put back on post moderation. You can hold you opinions without being rude.

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« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2006, 01:59:34 PM »

Aww c'mon, man. That is just a ridiculous "t"radition. I mean, it is just so over the edge....

Why do things have to be taken to the absurd?
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« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2006, 02:12:07 PM »

I believe it happened.  I have no reason not to.  There are icons of the "Abbess of Mt. Athos":

http://cs-people.bu.edu/butta1/martyrs/orthodox.cn/images/0506greece-04.jpg

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« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2006, 02:39:11 PM »

In my understanding,there is a reason that women are not allowed on the Holy Mountain.ÂÂ  According to Tradition, the Theotokos set foot on Mt. Athos, and prayed to Christ that it be made her personal garden.ÂÂ  Christ gave it to her and said that the mountain would "give birth" to many seeking salvation (monks).ÂÂ  So time goes on, and the Holy Mountain becomes inhabited by monks.ÂÂ  They regard the island as personally belonging to the Theotokos; she is their Abbess, and as such, she is the only woman allowed there (and there have been sightings of her on the Holy Mountain).ÂÂ  This is her island.ÂÂ  Again, this is my understanding.ÂÂ  

With Love in the Risen Christ,

Michael

I'm sorry, but I'm kinda on TomS's side on this one.  You need to come up with a better argument or reason because the above is internally inconsistent with Orthodox monastic praxis.  An Abbess is the head of a WOMEN'S monastery, not a man's.  Some of the previous reasons in this thread seem better to me, but could be elaborated upon.
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« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2006, 02:51:11 PM »

In my understanding,there is a reason that women are not allowed on the Holy Mountain.  According to Tradition, the Theotokos set foot on Mt. Athos, and prayed to Christ that it be made her personal garden.  Christ gave it to her and said that the mountain would "give birth" to many seeking salvation (monks).  So time goes on, and the Holy Mountain becomes inhabited by monks.  They regard the island as personally belonging to the Theotokos; she is their Abbess, and as such, she is the only woman allowed there (and there have been sightings of her on the Holy Mountain).  This is her island.  Again, this is my understanding. 

With Love in the Risen Christ,

Michael

Interesting, i didn't know that. Actually, isn't there a little nunnary at the bottom of the mountain for women to stay at? That's what i've heard.
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« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2006, 03:07:55 PM »

I understand your point.ÂÂ  I'm just relating to you what most Orthodox monks would probably say when asked about the issue.ÂÂ  There is a reason why the Holy Mountain is called the Garden of the Theotokos. I'd dare say that more Orthodox women are against allowing women on the Mountain than for it.ÂÂ  Secondly, assume we do allow women on.ÂÂ  What would be the reason?ÂÂ  If it is to respond to non-Orthodox new-age feminists, than no, they shouldn't be allowed to set foot on Athos.ÂÂ  If they were allowed, women come for pilgrimages, of course, and that would be a good thing. Say you allow women.ÂÂ  What's next?ÂÂ  Women would then want to be allowed into the sanctuary on a regular basis, then they would push for women priests, etc...and on and on.ÂÂ  Where would it end? The point is, once the floodgates are opened, people would push to allow other things, and I could see the mountain slowly becoming just another place instead of the holy retreat that it currently is.ÂÂ  Women can find the same holiness and ascetism in mainland monasteries, both in men's and women's, that they can find on the Holy Mountain. So why the push to be allowed on the Holy Mountain?ÂÂ  What is the cause of it?ÂÂ  Let it be.ÂÂ  If I were a simple, faithful monk, and I truly believed in the tradition of the Theotokos being the unique "Abbess" of the Holy Mountain, that would be all the reason I need to want to keep it the same. I don't mean to offend anyone; all I ask is that you look at it from the monk's traditional point of view, and ask yourself whether more harm or good would come from allowing women on the Holy Mountain.ÂÂ  For my part, yes, I could see it benefiting many women, but I think that in the long run, it would slowly erode the stability of the place, and possibly cause negative influences in the Church as a whole.

In the Risen Lord,

Michael
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« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2006, 03:13:40 PM »

Quote
Interesting, i didn't know that. Actually, isn't there a little nunnary at the bottom of the mountain for women to stay at? That's what i've heard.

No.

If women want to experience the feel and style of an Athonite monastery, I highly recomend a pilgrimage to the monastery in Serres.  Also there is a very nice women's monastery in Ormylia, that is under the direction of Simonopetras. ÂÂ

Besides the more legendary account of Panagia banning women from the penisula, monastics go to the Holy Mountain in order to leave the world.  So it only makes sense that one of the largest temptations and sources of worldiness for monks, would not be present on the Holy Mountain.  Similarly many womens monasteries place some restrictions on male visitors (i.e only during the day, can't be in the nave of the church during services etc.) .   ÃƒÆ’‚Â
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« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2006, 03:15:26 PM »

Here is an interesting thread on the topic from Monachos.Net:
http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2189
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« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2006, 03:26:54 PM »

I understand your point.  I'm just relating to you what most Orthodox monks would probably say when asked about the issue.  There is a reason why the Holy Mountain is called the Garden of the Theotokos. I'd dare say that more Orthodox women are against allowing women on the Mountain than for it.  Secondly, assume we do allow women on.  What would be the reason?  If it is to respond to non-Orthodox new-age feminists, than no, they shouldn't be allowed to set foot on Athos.  If they were allowed, women come for pilgrimages, of course, and that would be a good thing. Say you allow women.  What's next?  Women would then want to be allowed into the sanctuary on a regular basis, then they would push for women priests, etc...and on and on.  Where would it end? The point is, once the floodgates are opened, people would push to allow other things, and I could see the mountain slowly becoming just another place instead of the holy retreat that it currently is.  Women can find the same holiness and ascetism in mainland monasteries, both in men's and women's, that they can find on the Holy Mountain. So why the push to be allowed on the Holy Mountain?  What is the cause of it?  Let it be.  If I were a simple, faithful monk, and I truly believed in the tradition of the Theotokos being the unique "Abbess" of the Holy Mountain, that would be all the reason I need to want to keep it the same. I don't mean to offend anyone; all I ask is that you look at it from the monk's traditional point of view, and ask yourself whether more harm or good would come from allowing women on the Holy Mountain.  For my part, yes, I could see it benefiting many women, but I think that in the long run, it would slowly erode the stability of the place, and possibly cause negative influences in the Church as a whole.

In the Risen Lord,

Michael

And what is Prince Charles' reasoning, and other famous non-Orthodox people, for wanting to go there?  I find it mildly insulting that all women are banned from the entire island, and yet non-Orthodox men can still go.  Personally, I feel cut off from a part of Orthodoxy because of it.  I don't want to go to the Holy Mountain because I want to be a priest, or because I'm espousing some feminist doctrine (although the term feminist does get a bad rep), I want to go there because I want to experience what is unique to Mount Athos.  Are women really that much of a threat as to erode the Church's two-millenia Tradition?  Doubt it.
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« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2006, 03:34:07 PM »

Ah yes, the standard "Separate But Equal" smokescreen.  Tongue   Your reasoning sounds like the same good ol' boy logic espoused in the 1960's relating to other peoples equal rights.

History has proven it to be not so equal  Tongue
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« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2006, 03:35:26 PM »

There is nothing on the Holy Mountain (and it is a PENNISULA NOT AN ISLAND) that you can't find at a well fuctioning womens' monastery.  Pay a visit to Thasso or Serres...
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« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2006, 03:38:40 PM »

"There is nothing at 'Ye Old White Mans Pub' that you can't find at a well functioning colored peoples pub"

 Tongue
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« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2006, 03:41:38 PM »

It is my understanding that Prince Charles is more than just a famous tourist; I've read that he has considered converting to Orthodoxy and even if he doesn't, I believe he has a deep respect for the Orthodox tradition.  I can't confirm, so I leave that to the wind.  Now, if any man, (whether Orthodox or not) wanted to come to Athos simply to gawk and take pictures, I don't think he should be allowed on either. But we have no way of seeing into a person's heart, so that can't exactly be enforced.  And it isn't women so much that is a threat to Orthodox tradition; they aren't. The threat comes from unwarranted change simply for the sake of it, or from those pushing some sort of agenda.  Granted, not all women are out to "feminize" the Mountain; I have no doubt that you, Zoe, and others like you are sincere in wanting to experience Athos as an Orthodox pilgrim.  I spoke to my fiancee about the topic, and I'll relate something she said that made alot of sense to me:  "If my presence on Athos would scandalize even one monk, or bring him trouble, I would not go."  I believe men who are going there for the wrong reasons, or to any monastery for that matter, should ask it of themselves.  If I were a patron of a women's monastery, and I found out that my presence brought troubling thoughts of any kind to one of the nuns, I would not go again.
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« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2006, 03:46:56 PM »

And there is a difference in your analogy - segregation by races in the pre 1960s USA included basic social services, education etc.  This case is about keeping an out of way, essentially useless pennisula isolated for the religious practice of those living there. ÂÂ
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« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2006, 03:47:29 PM »

Article of Interest:

http://living.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1164032003
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« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2006, 03:50:50 PM »

Quote
If I were a patron of a women's monastery, and I found out that my presence brought troubling thoughts of any kind to one of the nuns, I would not go again.

And I think this is the crux of the matter.  Monasteries are for monastics!  If you want to deepen your own Orthodox spiritual life, get more involved at your parish - where lay people belong.  Going a trip to see a bunch of famous icons and churches will not help one's theosis. ÂÂ
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« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2006, 03:51:27 PM »

"There is nothing at 'Ye Old White Mans Country Club and Golf Course' that you can't find at a well functioning womans Country Club and Golf Course"  Tongue 1970's
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« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2006, 03:53:10 PM »

And by gosh "There is nothing at 'Ye Old White Mans Business Chamber of Commerce' that you can't find at a well functioning womans Business Chamber of Commerce" - 1970's
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« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2006, 04:13:36 PM »

Gotta love how Tom doesn't listen...
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« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2006, 08:43:51 PM »

It is my understanding that Prince Charles is more than just a famous tourist; I've read that he has considered converting to Orthodoxy and even if he doesn't, I believe he has a deep respect for the Orthodox tradition.  I can't confirm, so I leave that to the wind.  Now, if any man, (whether Orthodox or not) wanted to come to Athos simply to gawk and take pictures, I don't think he should be allowed on either. But we have no way of seeing into a person's heart, so that can't exactly be enforced.  And it isn't women so much that is a threat to Orthodox tradition; they aren't. The threat comes from unwarranted change simply for the sake of it, or from those pushing some sort of agenda.  Granted, not all women are out to "feminize" the Mountain; I have no doubt that you, Zoe, and others like you are sincere in wanting to experience Athos as an Orthodox pilgrim.  I spoke to my fiancee about the topic, and I'll relate something she said that made alot of sense to me:  "If my presence on Athos would scandalize even one monk, or bring him trouble, I would not go."  I believe men who are going there for the wrong reasons, or to any monastery for that matter, should ask it of themselves.  If I were a patron of a women's monastery, and I found out that my presence brought troubling thoughts of any kind to one of the nuns, I would not go again.

Thanks for that well thought out answer, but my only response to it is:

And yet there are no places men are forbidden from visiting, no places men simply aren't allowed in to based on the fact that their father gave them a Y instead of an X?  Why are nuns expected to be able to deal with the distraction of the opposite sex, but monks get extra-protection of seclusion from females in Athos?
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« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2006, 09:00:09 PM »

Why are nuns expected to be able to deal with the distraction of the opposite sex, but monks get extra-protection of seclusion from females in Athos?
Because we men are basically a hormone with feet. If you only knew how much more difficult chastity is for us!
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« Reply #31 on: May 12, 2006, 09:06:47 PM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=9024.msg120527#msg120527 date=1147461220]
No.

If women want to experience the feel and style of an Athonite monastery, I highly recomend a pilgrimage to the monastery in Serres.  Also there is a very nice women's monastery in Ormylia, that is under the direction of Simonopetras. 

Besides the more legendary account of Panagia banning women from the penisula, monastics go to the Holy Mountain in order to leave the world.  So it only makes sense that one of the largest temptations and sources of worldiness for monks, would not be present on the Holy Mountain.  Similarly many womens monasteries place some restrictions on male visitors (i.e only during the day, can't be in the nave of the church during services etc.) .   
[/quote]

Really? I've always heard about some sort of Nunnary near the Monastery, but not close by... just under the mountain, somthing like that. I'll have to look into it now, i'm confused.

I've been to a Nunnary in Canada, and it was a great experience. I hope i get to experience it again somewhere else.
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« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2006, 09:15:25 PM »

Because we men are basically a hormone with feet. If you only knew how much more difficult chastity is for us!

I know plenty of women who struggle with chastity, who consider '10' not a high number.  It's a human problem, but only guys have the ability to use their genes as an excuse.
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« Reply #33 on: May 12, 2006, 09:32:09 PM »

I know plenty of women who struggle with chastity, who consider '10' not a high number.  It's a human problem, but only guys have the ability to use their genes as an excuse.
Chastity is a human problem, but just look at the reality of the difference between the male ability to pass on his genes, and the female equivalent. A woman produces ova until menopause. Men can fertilize an ovum throughout their life, and can even do so up to 20 minutes after they are dead. The whole design of a male is directed at passing on his genes as often as possible. There is just no comparing male and female "sex drive" as being equal- nature's design just doesn't support it.
We can theorise about it as much as we like and say that women are just as tempted to unchastity as men, but perhaps the Church is a wise 2000 year old lady who has the benefit of a greater experience of the difference between men and women and established rules which helped them avoid scandal. By the way, it is not only women who are forbidden, but also boys under the age of 18 years are forbidden to stay overnight on the Holy Mountain under the same edict of Emperor Constantine Monomahos of AD 1060 which forbade women. Again- the aim is to avoid scandal.
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« Reply #34 on: May 12, 2006, 11:33:49 PM »

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Really? I've always heard about some sort of Nunnary near the Monastery, but not close by... just under the mountain, somthing like that. I'll have to look into it now, i'm confused.

The closest major womens' monastery to the Holy Mountain that I know of is on Thassos, which still a good boat ride from Athos (maybe 2-3 hours by boat).  On a clear day one can see the outline of Thassos from Philothou...

Most of the monasteries have a metohi (dependancy), and often it will be a women's monastery - often though their geographical location will not be that close to Athos. 

Quote
Why are nuns expected to be able to deal with the distraction of the opposite sex, but monks get extra-protection of seclusion from females in Athos?

I actually do remember reading about monasteries in Russia where the only male allowed in was on older priest - and that was just for liturgy and then he immediatnly.  I am curious though, have you ever been to Thassos, Serres, Ormylia, Volos or the one right out side of the Thessalonkik (founded by Elder Paisios - the name of the town escapes me at the moment)?  Furthermore there are hundreds of Orthodox monasteries (both male and female) and many of them allow visitors of both sexes - why not allow one community keep their own practice of strict segregation? 

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« Reply #35 on: May 13, 2006, 12:32:07 AM »

Chastity is a human problem, but just look at the reality of the difference between the male ability to pass on his genes, and the female equivalent. A woman produces ova until menopause. Men can fertilize an ovum throughout their life, and can even do so up to 20 minutes after they are dead. The whole design of a male is directed at passing on his genes as often as possible. There is just no comparing male and female "sex drive" as being equal- nature's design just doesn't support it.
We can theorise about it as much as we like and say that women are just as tempted to unchastity as men, but perhaps the Church is a wise 2000 year old lady who has the benefit of a greater experience of the difference between men and women and established rules which helped them avoid scandal. By the way, it is not only women who are forbidden, but also boys under the age of 18 years are forbidden to stay overnight on the Holy Mountain under the same edict of Emperor Constantine Monomahos of AD 1060 which forbade women. Again- the aim is to avoid scandal.

Agreed, nature does not support the idea of male and female sex drives being equal.  However, society does.  We have birth control, we have condoms, we have emergency "morning after" pills, and we have abortion.  The modern world has given women the ability to have that equal sex drive, and to not fear repercussions that she did fear in the past (ie, being left with a child).  So although stereotypes may group women as unchaste and men as heros, men and women are quickly becoming equal in their sex choices.

The Church has a deep understanding of human nature - I'm not contesting that.  What kept me in Christianity was its ability to deal with the human condition and with human suffering, and not push it aside.  The Church, however, also exists in a modern word, and in this modern world girls as well as boys are taught that if you "really love someone" then it's "okay".
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« Reply #36 on: May 13, 2006, 12:36:47 AM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=9024.msg120572#msg120572 date=1147491229]
The closest major womens' monastery to the Holy Mountain that I know of is on Thassos, which still a good boat ride from Athos (maybe 2-3 hours by boat).  On a clear day one can see the outline of Thassos from Philothou...

Most of the monasteries have a metohi (dependancy), and often it will be a women's monastery - often though their geographical location will not be that close to Athos. 

I actually do remember reading about monasteries in Russia where the only male allowed in was on older priest - and that was just for liturgy and then he immediatnly.  I am curious though, have you ever been to Thassos, Serres, Ormylia, Volos or the one right out side of the Thessalonkik (founded by Elder Paisios - the name of the town escapes me at the moment)?  Furthermore there are hundreds of Orthodox monasteries (both male and female) and many of them allow visitors of both sexes - why not allow one community keep their own practice of strict segregation? 


[/quote]

I have been to none of those places, but I have been to lots and lots of monasteries on my mother's home island in Greece, and yes, all were very enriching and I look back on those experiences very fondly.  In my mind, Mount Athos has always been the heart of Orthodoxy.  The analogy of the spiritual warfare, where the monastics are the ones on the front lines, and if that front line falters the whole army will fall.  I suppose that's enough reason to not allow women in to distract the monks, but because I hold Athos as such a sacred place in my mind being cut off from it because of my gender is disheartening.  If, maybe, they would open up a "male side" and a "female side" or some kind of other compromise, I would be just as happy.  I doubt any female's wish to go to Athos is based on wanting to bother a monk, but to step foot on sacred soil.
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« Reply #37 on: May 13, 2006, 12:54:33 AM »

Agreed, nature does not support the idea of male and female sex drives being equal.  However, society does.  We have birth control, we have condoms, we have emergency "morning after" pills, and we have abortion.  The modern world has given women the ability to have that equal sex drive, and to not fear repercussions that she did fear in the past (ie, being left with a child).  So although stereotypes may group women as unchaste and men as heros, men and women are quickly becoming equal in their sex choices.

The Church has a deep understanding of human nature - I'm not contesting that.  What kept me in Christianity was its ability to deal with the human condition and with human suffering, and not push it aside.  The Church, however, also exists in a modern word, and in this modern world girls as well as boys are taught that if you "really love someone" then it's "okay".

So, you are saying that the reason women should be allowed on a Penninsula full of celibate men is because women's sex drive is stronger these days.......I don't suggest you try that argument on the Oecumenical Patriarchate. Wink
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« Reply #38 on: May 13, 2006, 01:15:38 AM »

So, you are saying that the reason women should be allowed on a Penninsula full of celibate men is because women's sex drive is stronger these days.......I don't suggest you try that argument on the Oecumenical Patriarchate. Wink

No, not at all.  Women should be allowed on Athos because women and men both face similar challenges living in the same world, and both sexes can benefit from Athos' unique experience.  Not allowing women on Athos because they distract men is about as ludicris as saying we should allow women on Athos because they have stronger sex drives than before (which isn't true, it's the same, just the tendency to act on them is higher).

My point is - both sexes face temptation, and using our genetic makeup as an excuse is just another cop-out to perpetuate denying another sex an excellent experience.
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« Reply #39 on: May 13, 2006, 02:44:00 AM »

And yet there are no places men are forbidden from visiting, no places men simply aren't allowed in to based on the fact that their father gave them a Y instead of an X? 

There are a number of monastic enclaves in Greece that forbid men to enter. I can not recall the names of any of them but I know they are near Thessaloniki. This discussion came up at some point in the talks about the deaconess and her role. If I remember right this group of monasteries had a deaconess who would bring the Holy Gifts up to the monastery since the priest was not allowed in.
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« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2006, 04:18:16 AM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=9024.msg120572#msg120572 date=1147491229]
I am curious though, have you ever been to Thassos, Serres, Ormylia, Volos or the one right out side of the Thessalonkik (founded by Elder Paisios - the name of the town escapes me at the moment)?
[/quote]

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« Reply #41 on: May 13, 2006, 04:25:35 AM »

No, not at all.  Women should be allowed on Athos because women and men both face similar challenges living in the same world, and both sexes can benefit from Athos' unique experience.  Not allowing women on Athos because they distract men is about as ludicris as saying we should allow women on Athos because they have stronger sex drives than before (which isn't true, it's the same, just the tendency to act on them is higher).

There are a few ascetic monks who live on the peninsular who have regained the childlike innocence of Adam before the fall and as such are completely naked (even throughout the often harsh winter conditions). Though they are rarely seen by others, I don't think it would be good to risk women running into them.

Quote
My point is - both sexes face temptation, and using our genetic makeup as an excuse is just another cop-out to perpetuate denying another sex an excellent experience.

As has been pointed out, there are many female monasteries where you can gain the same experience.

John
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« Reply #42 on: May 13, 2006, 04:52:50 PM »

I know plenty of women who struggle with chastity, who consider '10' not a high number.ÂÂ  It's a human problem, but only guys have the ability to use their genes as an excuse.

My son does not believe you. He says that he needs phone numbers in order to verify this outrageous and scandelous claim!  Cheesy Grin
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« Reply #43 on: May 13, 2006, 06:49:37 PM »

My son does not believe you. He says that he needs phone numbers in order to verify this outrageous and scandelous claim!  Cheesy Grin

ROFL!
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« Reply #44 on: May 13, 2006, 10:19:01 PM »

Women should be allowed on Athos because women and men both face similar challenges living in the same world, and both sexes can benefit from Athos' unique experience. 
I accept that both sexes can benefit from an experience on Mount Athos. And by the same token, both men and women can benefit from the experience of a Convent, but men are not permitted to stay in Convents beyond attending it's Church Services- and certainly not overnight  Even a married Priest would not permit a woman who is not a relative stay in his house if his wife were away- whether they actually commit fornication or not isn't the issue, the issue is that he should not create situations which would scandalize his parishoners.
During the wars of the Greek revolution, the Nazi occupation of Greece and the Communist Guerilla war, by "economia" women and children were given refuge in Athonite monasteries. The problem of making this exception a precedent for a rule is that Athos is geographically a peninsula which is cut off from the mainland- so given it's remoteness, the problem is the scandal created by having unchaperoned women in a peninsula dedicated to celibate men.
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« Reply #45 on: May 14, 2006, 01:06:08 AM »

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Women should be allowed on Athos because women and men both face similar challenges living in the same world, and both sexes can benefit from Athos' unique experience.

Athos does not exist for our direct benefit; it exists for those with the vocation to entirely leave the world and spend their life in prayer.  Those from whom we, as laymen, are to chiefly obtain benefit is those with a different vocation: priests, bishops, spiritual fathers etc.     
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« Reply #46 on: May 14, 2006, 05:40:46 AM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=9024.msg120670#msg120670 date=1147583168]
Athos does not exist for our direct benefit; it exists for those with the vocation to entirely leave the world and spend their life in prayer.  Those from whom we, as laymen, are to chiefly obtain benefit is those with a different vocation: priests, bishops, spiritual fathers etc. [/quote]
I beg to differ- I think all monasteries directly benefit us. Athos is a battery which keeps the world going. Eldress Gavrielia once said: "If the world is standing on it's feet today, it is because of the prayers of all the monastics.", and I would agree.
Whatever life throws at us, prayers are being offered on our behalf, which is why we pray for mercy and salvation "Through the prayers of our holy fathers......"
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« Reply #47 on: May 14, 2006, 08:27:44 AM »

Plus they help us enormously by keeping multitudes of demons engaged in spiritual battle on Mount Athos, thus freeing us from facing many more attacks from the evil one.
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« Reply #48 on: May 14, 2006, 08:54:21 AM »

I'd never thought of our monastics as "taking one for the team", but I can see the sense in that!
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« Reply #49 on: May 14, 2006, 04:55:35 PM »

George, I actually agree with you.  We differ only in wording; I said monasteries don't exist for our direct benefite - meaning that indirectly we recieve the fruits of the prayers of the monastics.  There are other vocations within the church that more tangibly touch the life of the average layperson. 
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