March 6, 2010

Interview With Papa-Foti Lavriotis

Papa-Foti, we know someone who witnessed the following: Many years ago, you together with a spiritual child of yours liturgized at dawn at the picturesque chapel of Panagia Galatousas, inside the castle of our city. And when you finished the Divine Liturgy you took the Holy Communion and went to one of the houses of ill-repute which were once in that area, and you Communed a prostitute ready to die. Indeed, later she did die. Is this true? Were you not afraid what people would say if they saw you?

This has happened many times. A lady near the Church of Saint Symeon told me about certain circumstances and I would go to these souls. They would receive me. I would speak to them about repentance, the salvation of the soul, the other life, etc. I never spoke badly to them, but with love I would tell them to repent and God would provide for them and restore them to His heart. Many souls repented.... You asked if I ever was afraid. What should I fear? I fear no one. We should only fear God when we sin. I didn't care what people would think. I was working for Christ.

Father Photios, the Pope recently came to Greece. What do you have to say about this to us?

Shame on the Synod for receiving the Pope! Whoever invited him are accountable. Those who resisted did very good! The Pope together with the Jews are the greatest enemy of the world, because they are antichrists. The Pope wants to rule everywhere. This is why he came to our country. Everywhere he created and creates problems and scandals. What did he do for Asia Minor in 1922 or Serbia in 1999? The papacy has created great suffering for Greece. Its aim is to destroy Orthodoxy, but Orthodoxy is the Truth and Life and it does not fear "the gates of Hades" because Her chief and protector is Christ. It was unacceptable what happened, after so many centuries for the Pope to come to Greece! What else will we see? The Pope is the devil, except that he has hope in repentance. God and all the Saints await the hour and minute he will repent! But when? Nearly a thousand years have passed and we don't see a bit of authentic repentance, a bit of real change. I lived with the the papists in the Holy Land, when I served. They are very stubborn and blind. They understand that we Orthodox have the truth - since it was from us that they received the Holy Light every Holy Saturday; they saw the miracle - but their ego doesn't allow them to receive it. Egoism blinds people. And the Pope of Rome is the embodiment of demonic egoism!

You lived many years on Mount Athos. Did you meet holy people, saints?

Mount Athos is the Garden of the Panagia, holy and sacred ground. A land of asceticism. I lived there twenty entire years - there I was ordained a deacon and priest - so it is natural that I would come to know saintly men, holy people. The educated, who abandoned everything for monasticism. I remember a Fr. Paul Pavlidis, a doctor. He had two degrees and was from Pontus. And another. Kambanas was his name. He was a doctor from Aegina. Also, a Papa-George from Constantinople, very educated. And another, Papa-Avvakoum, who was a monastic at [Great] Lavra. I had the opportunity to serve and live near these people. They were simple people, well-known, but who considered themselves garbage, a nothing. And if they did anything miraculous, and we the younger ones were in wonder and admired them, they would say: "We didn't do anything. We made supplication to God, and He invisibly made it happen."