Will the Church of Greece Cave In Again?

This is getting rather tiresome. 

Let me explain:  two years ago, the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece played an unseemly game of “hot potato” when it was their turn to recognize the schismatic Ukrainian sect created by the State Department.  Neither the bishops in general nor Archbishop Ieronymus II of Athens wanted to touch the issue.  (So far, none of the other local Churches have taken the bait:  good on them.)  When the archbishop asked for their consent, they said “you first” and tossed it back to him.  

And he tossed it back to them.  And so on.  Eventually, the Church of Greece, somehow (I guess through the process of osmosis or simple inertia)  “recognized” Epiphany’s schismatic sect.

As I said, it was all so unseemly.  And so utterly lacking in courage, something which should be second nature to local Churches that have the proper phronema.  

So much for the “spiritual maturity” that Patriarch Bartholomew said that we in American don’t possess.  Yet another of his excuses to not allow an American Orthodox Church to arise out of the chaos of the various Orthodox jurisdictions here in the States. 

So here we go with Round Two:  the Church of Greece is dithering yet again, this time on the subject of gay “marriage” and (of course) the adoption of innocent children which will result from that.  

The discomfort in the face of Ieronymus is plain to see.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to discern that he would rather this issue go away.  Unfortunately, because most of the bishops are paid by the state –and let’s be honest here–some are compromised, they are probably going to cave in to the state again.  

You can read the sordid details for yourself here:  https://www.helleniscope.com/2024/01/20/ab-ieronymoss-attitude-is-unjustified-and-suspicious/

If you don’t mind, I’d like to highlight some of Stamatakis’ insights, which are dead-on: 

“Orthodoxy is not some vague theoretical philosophy that only addresses people’s metaphysical concerns. Orthodoxy is a revolution. It was a real revolution that changed humanity, as it transmitted Hellenism’s eternal humanitarian principles and values to a large part of the world, which until then was immersed in barbarism.”

It seems the bishops have forgotten that part of phronema is having the courage of your convictions.  Compare their reticence (cowardice?) with bishops such as St Ignatius of Antioch, who wrote letters to the Christians of Rome to not ransom him from his impending death in the arena.  Let me reiterate what Mr Stamatakis has written above:  that Orthodoxy is not some vague set of philosophical propositions, it is a revolutionary faith.  

Have their Graces forgotten that gay adoption via surrogacy is an atrocity, not merely because it exposes innocent children to molestation but it reduces women to mere breeding vessels?  Christianity, in the person of the Blessed Theotokos elevated women for the first time in history.  Are we now to go back to the paganism of the ancient Greeks?  We will if we do not challenge surrogacy.  

“If Orthodoxy had not been involved in political and social matters, then even today, the woman and the child would be considered objects, the rich and the powerful would be oppressing the poor and the powerless with impunity, the concept of justice would be similar rather to Sharia Law and not to the revolutionary teachings of Christ that came as a steel shield over the powerless, to protect them from the sword of the powerful.”

What a difference between Ieronymos and his predecessor Christodoulos, who stood up to the Greek government and told them to pound sand on another issue.  Regardless, Well said, Nick.  If only the Archbishop of Athens were as resolute.  

As for myself, I never again want to hear any hierarch from the Ecumenical Patriarchate tell me that we Americans don’t have the “spiritual maturity” to have a recognized autocephalous Church.   The people of Greece have centuries of spiritual formation behind them and when push comes to shove, they fold like a cheap suit.  

Comments

  1. Well this is at least promising. As far as I can tell this includes all bishops within the Church of Greece and not just the “permanent synod” which doesn’t include all of the bishops:

    https://www.orthodoxianewsagency.gr/aytokefales_ekklisies/ekklisia_ellados/ektakti-ierarxia-reportaz-ope-gr-apolyti-taytisi-ierarxon-me-tin-eisigisi-tou-mitropoliti-mesogaias-se-ekseliksi-i-synedriasi/

    Absolute identification with the suggestion made to the extraordinary Hierarchy by the Metropolitan of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki Mr. Nikolaos exists in the Body of the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece, which is meeting in an extraordinary way at this time in the Synod Palace.

    According to the report of ope.gr and journalist Dimitris Stroumbakos from the Synod Palace, sources state that the proposal makes it clear that all issues for same-sex couples can be resolved through the legal extension of the cohabitation agreement. Through this extension, issues related to procreation can also be resolved regarding couples who already have children through this process.

    The same sources make it clear that the Hierarchy is clearly against the bill and that not a single Metropolitan is going to be found who disagrees with the clear positions expressed through the proposal made to the Hierarchy on the issue. They speak of two different worlds between the Church and the government in this matter.

    After the proposal of the Metropolitan of Mesogaia, Mr. Nikolaou, on the topic “Church and the establishment of marriage between persons of the same sex” , the House adjourned the meeting for a while, while the meeting continues at this time with a discussion on the subject of the proposal.

    Earlier, during their arrival at the Synod Palace, the Hierarchs did not want to make statements to the cameras as, as they said, the meeting of the Hierarchy takes precedence. All will be said after completion pointed out.

    In the extraordinary meeting, together with the Blessed President of the Hierarchy, Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, etc. Jerome, a total of 77 Hierarchs. Absent are the Metropolitans of Mytilene Mr. Iakovos , Mr. Pavlos of Servia and Kozani, Mr. Chrysostomos of Eleftheroupolis and Mr. Dionysios of Zakynthos . It should be noted that the Holy Metropolis of Mantineia and Kynouria remains empty.

    A press conference will be held after the conclusion of the extraordinary meeting. As ope.gr wrote yesterday, the Church of Greece will not be limited to just a resounding announcement. According to information, letters to the Members of the Greek Parliament will also follow, while next Sunday, January 28, she will inform the flock in detail about her position on the issue in the churches.

    …..And he tossed it back to them. And so on. Eventually, the Church of Greece, somehow (I guess through the process of osmosis or simple inertia) “recognized” Epiphany’s schismatic sect.

    Many bishops in Greece still don’t accept the OCU and the whole synod of the Church of Greece still hasn’t accepted them, only the permanent synod which doesn’t consist of every bishop in the CoG. I’m assuming they have seen how much inner turmoil the OCU issue has caused in the Church of Greece so that’s why the whole synod is present on the current issue. Also, my assumption is that they can be blasé about the OCU because it has no direct impact on the bishops/priest/laity in the CoG whereas this issue in Greece definitely will.

  2. Looks like the Church of Russia might be getting closer to forming an Exarchate in the territory of the EP:

    https://orthochristian.com/158310.html

  3. Nick Stamatakis says

    The comments are not mine – although I largely agree. They come from an anonymous editorialist posted on newsbreak.gr. Also, we cannot underestimate the influence of the US deep state on the Church of Greece at that time. Geoffrey Pyett was the Ambassador in Athens and we all know what this means: he was the same guy who organized along with Victoria Nuland the color revolution / coup d’etat in Kiev in 2014. I recall there were numerous visits of Pyatt with other deep state officials at AB Christodoulos’ office. Now the situation is different as the issue touches the heart of Greece: the institution of the family…

  4. This is too much to translate, but here is a paper by Met. Nicholas of Mesogaias:

    CHURCH AND THE INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE
    BETWEEN PERSONS OF THE SAME SEX

    https://www.romfea.gr/images/article-images/2024/01/romfea2/eisigisi-mesogaias.pdf

    There is also this clarification from Athos that’s a little hard to decipher when run through Google Translate:

    https://www.romfea.gr/images/article-images/2024/01/romfea2/anakoinosi-koinotita.pdf

    Someone who knows Greek can probably do a much better translation into English but it kind of seems like they are clarifying what various news outlets saying Elpi would be barred from Athos and saying they took their position because of his photo op at the gay baptism, but still welcomed him anyways?

    Not 100% sure

  5. Hellas | Marriage of same-sex couples:
    Unanimous “no” of the Holy Synod on the bill

    https://www-lifo-gr.translate.goog/now/greece/gamos-omofylon-zeygarion-omofono-ohi-tis-ieras-synodoy-sto-nomoshedio?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en

    The Holy Synod decided to send letters to the deputies
    and to read a circular in the temples

    ‘ The Holy Synod unanimously decided to oppose the bill for the marriage of same-sex couples, during the extraordinary meeting held today under Archbishop Hieronymos. … ‘

    • Joseph Lipper says

      The key word is “unanimous”. There was no dispute over this, and frankly I would be shocked if there was.

  6. Orthodox christians need to realize that the Episcopal ranks have always been an office for softies. They have ALWAYS caved and sided with big government. In the past this sometimes worked to our advantage because emperors were on the right side of true dogma. As soon as Constantine reversed course on Nicea, the east all switched sides and became Arian bishops except for a handful of “troublemakers”. The whole Coptic argument enshrined in their hagiography for Dioscoros was that the 630 bishops of Chalcedon simply obeyed the will of the emperor, because they feared repercussions. We have seen the robber council of the iconoclasts when most of the bishops gladly went along with it. How the troublemaker St Maximos the Confessor had his hand and tongue amputated and for years the clergy applauded this action as the saint was viewed as a troublemaking heretic. We all know the capitulation at Florence at the behest of the emperor. The same thing happened in Greece when the secular government changed the calendar and persecuted those that resisted with the majority of the bishops more than happy to slander the calendar of their parents and persecute their own parishioners. The overwhelming majority of all bishops at all times have always sided with the government regardless of truth being spineless cowards. Many clergy, monks and laity literally converted to Islam overnightq when Constantinople fell and entered into service of the Sultan. Bishops are spineless cowards by design and today the Athonites monks and the laity are de-masculinized, The laity are effeminate secularists believing church is meant to bea segregated from state and somehow you can balance the two lifestyles in a type of neo-nestorianism. Remember when in Greece the people would rise up and protest every little thing???? What happened??? They adopted “European values” of debauchery and the globohomo agenda.

  7. Pope Francis attacks critics of homosexual blessings as ‘small ideological groups’
    https://www.monomakhos.com/will-the-church-of-greece-cave-in-again/

    In discussing Fiducia Supplicans, Pope Francis described the Catholic Church in Africa as ‘a special case’ since ‘for them, homosexuality is something ‘ugly’ from a cultural point of view; they do not tolerate it.’

    (LifeSiteNews) — ‘ Pope Francis said that those who oppose Fiducia Supplicans (FS) “belong to small ideological groups” and that the Church in Africa is “a special case” because of its culture.

    In an interview with the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Francis addressed the criticism of the controversial Vatican declaration on “blessings” for couples in irregular situations, saying that “those who vehemently protest [Fiducia Supplicans] belong to small ideological groups.”

    The pope described the Catholic Church in Africa as “a special case” since “for them, homosexuality is something ‘ugly’ from a cultural point of view; they do not tolerate it,” according to the English translation of the interview by Vatican News.

    He furthermore said, “I trust that gradually everyone will be reassured about the spirit of the declaration,” which “aims to include, not divide. It invites us to welcome and then entrust people, and to trust in God.”

    Francis said in reference to Fiducia Supplicans that “Christ calls everyone from within.”

    “The Gospel is to sanctify everyone,” he added. “Of course, there must be goodwill. And it is necessary to give precise instructions on the Christian life (I emphasize that it is not the union that is blessed, but the persons). But we are all sinners: Why should we make a list of sinners who can enter the Church and a list of sinners who cannot be in the Church? This is not the Gospel.”

    Francis admitted he sometimes feels alone, “but I still always strive ahead, day after day,” and stressed that he does not fear schisms.

    The pope seemed to infer that the critics of Fiducia Supplicans are “of a schismatic nature.”

    “In the Church, there have always been small groups that manifest reflections of a schismatic nature,” he said. “One must let them carry on and pass away … and look ahead.”

    Contrary to Pope Francis’ claims that the opponents of Fiducia Supplicans consist of “small ideological groups,” a substantial number of bishops, priests, and other clergymen, as well as notable Catholic scholars, have publicly criticized the Vatican document.

    Apart from the majority of African bishops, to whom Francis referred as “a special case,” the non-exhaustive list of notable critics of Fiducia Supplicans includes:

    Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith
    Cardinal Robert Sarah, former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
    Cardinal Joseph Zen, emeritus bishop of Hong Kong
    Cardinal Daniel Sturla, Archbishop of Montevideo, Uruguay
    Bishop Athanasius Schneider and Archbishop Tomas Peta from the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana, Kazakhstan
    Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former papal nuncio to the U.S.
    Archbishop Hector Aguer, emeritus Archbishop of La Plata, Argentina
    Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
    Bishop Adair José Guimarães of the Diocese of Formosa, Brazil
    Bishop Rafael Escudero López-Brea of the Diocese of Moyobamba, Peru
    Bishop Marian Eleganti, emeritus bishop of Chur, Switzerland
    Bishop Robert Pipta, Byzantine Catholic bishop of Parma, Ohio
    The Bishops’ Conference of Hungary
    The Bishops’ Conference of Poland
    The U.K. Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, representing over 500 clergy
    The Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy
    The U.S. Confraternity of Catholic Clergy
    A group of 157 Spanish-speaking priests

    The Catholic Church has always and everywhere taught that homosexual acts are serious sins. Unfortunately, in recent decades, the Church’s witness to chastity, connubial love and family life has been hindered by revelations of homosexual activity among the clergy in Europe and the Americas. ‘

    • George Michalopulos says

      Like all liberals and cultural Marxists, Francis is never going to back down.

      For some perverse reason, I find myself admiring their tenacity. *sigh*

  8. I Samuel 15:22 “And Samuel said (to Saul), Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
    23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”

    King Saul had slain the Amalekites as directed by Samuel, but had spared the livestock, ostensibly for sacrifice to Yahweh. Thus Saul compromised, obeying God imperfectly. That act cost him his throne. Francis the Apostate would do well to take this vignette as a cautionary tale, and these words of the prophet under advisement.

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