Dmitry Medvedev suggested that in addition to having a board of trustees, a fund could be created for the restoration and preservation of St Panteleimon Monastery’s cultural and spiritual heritage.
The first meeting of the board was attended by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Transport Minister Igor Levitin, Communications and Mass Media Minister Igor Shchegolev, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, Governor of St Petersburg Georgy Poltavchenko, Russian Railways CEO Vladimir Yakunin, and representatives of the church. The abbot of the St Panteleimon Monastery, 96-year-old Archimandrite Jeremiah, also visited the presidential residence.
St Panteleimon Monastery is a Russian Orthodox monastery built on the southwest side of the peninsula of Mt Athos in Greece. It was founded in the 11th century.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: We have come together today to discuss supporting the St Panteleimon Monastery, located on Mount Athos, which is of enormous significance for the entire Orthodox community and everyone who identifies as a member of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Many of you here have visited this place. I also had the opportunity to see it.
We are all aware of the problems and difficulties the monastery has faced, as well as its significance for our people and our nation. So it makes sense for us to look into creating a Board of Trustees that can work to support and assist the monastery in resolving a wide variety of challenges.
I am not implying that there is currently no assistance being provided; there is, and I can assure you the monastery is being supported. Nevertheless, I think it is extremely important to coordinate this support and ensure that various philanthropic forces in our nation are contributing to this support.
Indeed, when His Holiness and I discussed this issue several months ago and decided to invite all these respected guests to discuss it, this was precisely our goal.
In addition to the board of trustees, we will likely need to create a special fund to accumulate resources to be spent for the good of the monastery – naturally, under some supervision on the part of the fund and the board of trustees – to ensure that not a single programme is discontinued, even if, for whatever reason, a need occurs to add something, or if the monastery faces any complications.
The fate of the monastery in the 20th century was very difficult. This was due to the events that took place in Russia, and then during the Soviet period. But now, thankfully, the situation has changed, so I hope that our modest input will facilitate the restoration of the monastery in all its power and greatness, as it was once perceived by our predecessors. Our predecessors – those who lived in our nation – have been connected to Mount Athos by nearly one thousand years of history, and this is also an important factor for the Orthodox community and for our nation.