“With great sadness and sorrow, the Holy Community of Mount Athos received news of the joint signing of the Prespa Agreement concerning the renaming of the neighboring country of Skopje. Surely, we Christians must strive for the unity of all Orthodox, for the lifting of schisms, for peace, and avoid in any way the creation of hotbeds of fanaticism and religious and ethnic hatred. Thus, the resolution of the lasting problem of the name of the State of Skopje and the complete restoration of relations are desirable, especially as many pilgrims from the neighboring country come and visit the Holy Mountain every year, and find here for their soul, in an atmosphere of authentic and spiritual unity and love.
However, in the name of the good objectives mentioned above, it is not possible for the resolution of this major national issue to use improvised, obscure, and abbreviated procedures, by adopting positions contrary to scientific truth, reality and historical memory, in a way that offends the national conscience of the Greek people.
It is not possible for the Greek State to adopt binding international agreements which, as shown by constant and massive popular reactions, are not accepted by the overwhelming majority of our people. In particular, as Athonite monks and guardians of a historical, spiritual, and cultural tradition that goes back more than a thousand years, it is not possible for us to accept that the Macedonian identity would be granted to the language and to a group people that have no connection with the ancient Macedonian Greek dialect nor with the Greek tribe of ancient Macedonians.
We cannot understand how it is possible for Greek politicians, with university degrees, and university professors among them, to countersign the recognition of the Macedonian language and ethnicity to a people whose Slavic origins and language have been demonstrated!
We call on the Hellenic Parliament and Government to respect the will of the Greek people and the historical truth. The Holy Mountain of Athos, as the inestimable spiritual and historical center of Macedonia and of our homeland where, since its formation, Orthodox of various linguistic and national origins have been coexisting in peace, considers it as contempt towards history and truth, as well as a betrayal of the national consciousness of Hellenism, for the Greek state to recognize the Macedonian language and nationality in this area.
May the Protectress of the Holy Mountain, the Most Holy Mother of God, enlighten those who are at the head of the State, so that they may become aware of their mistakes, and that they may proceed to correct them in order ultimately to reach an agreement that would respect the truth and constitute the basis of a unity and a common peaceful path for the two peoples who share the same faith, within our Orthodox Church.
Common synaxis of all the representatives and superiors of the twenty holy monasteries of the Holy Mountain of Athos”.
Source (with picture) in Greek: Romfea