It is a common ascertainment, that the Dialogues – both inter-Christian and inter-faith – are taking place even more frequently in our time. Whereas the Ecumenical Patriarchate continues to intensify its related policies of the past, the Church of Greece however has shown itself to be a serious competitor, by focusing all its efforts chiefly in two directions: its contacts with the Vatican and Papism on the one hand, but also the inter-faith meetings on the other. And whereas the Ecumenical Patriarchate continues to follow the course that was set by the late Patriarch Athenagoras (†1972), unable to apply self-criticism and self-control any longer, the Church of Greece on the other hand, at its administrative levels and despite the reactions of the majority of the Clergy and the pious Laity, is nearing on surpassing the Patriarchal Centre in initiatives, with its constantly accelerating rhythms that justifiably cause concern because they are scandalously violating the once-customary policy of prudent self-control that our Archbishops used to enforce, from the late Chrysostom II (†1968), up to and including the late Seraphim (†1998). And the question posed is merciless: WHY?
In ecumenical matters, the Patriarch Athenagoras had inaugurated a course - a constantly accelerating one – which is now impossible to be revised or reined in by his successors; the Church of Greece has also become entangled in this “trap”, and with its current Leadership, despite a seeming competition with the Head of Fanarion (Constantinople), She has been implementing the same ecumenistic and inter-faith policies. The Patriarch Athenagoras had been unabashedly instrumental in the promotion of the objectives of the 2nd Vatican Synod (1962-1965), which was none other than the subjection of Orthodoxy to Papism, in the guise of a union. The commencement of Unia which had been activated during the Synod of Ferrara-Florence (1438-39), had been inadmittedly accepted by Hellenic-speaking Orthodoxy, under the illusion that a dialogue “on equal terms” was taking place, for the purpose of uniting “in the truth”, whereas in fact we ended up with a Uniate recognition of Papism – the most humungous and radical “alteration of the very core of ecclesiastic truth”, with the production of “a different kind of Christianity, entirely opposite to the evangelical way of life and salvation of mankind” (Chr. Yannaras). From the Patriarch Athenagoras – a convinced preacher of this course – with the Pan-Orthodox conferences of Rhodes (1961 and 1963) as well as a series of personal initiatives (such as the famous meeting with the pope Paul VI in Jerusalem, 1964) and despite the reactions chiefly of Chrysostom II of Athens, the predetermined plan (in collaboration with the Vatican) was promoted and imposed, thus leading to the situation that we have today.
From the “Dialogue of Love” – a deceptive invention of the 2nd Vatican synod, whose greatest propagandist was Athenagoras – we were ushered forcefully into the Theological Dialogue, however without the prior fulfilment of Orthodoxy’s basic condition: the waiving of the Papist primacy and infallibility, given that the Papacy constitutes the most tragic alteration of Christ’s Gospel and the most significant obstacle for a meeting of Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy “in the truth”. But the enforced “policy” of misguiding and entrapment is also verified by the decision that during a Theological Dialogue, the “divisive” issues must not be discussed (a permanent and inviolable principle of Ecumenical Synods), but instead, only the “unifying” issues, thus creating an illusion of unity and kinship through the promoting of the tactics of Unia. This explains the Vatican’s persistence in saving the institution of Unia at all costs, while at the same time, the spirit of “mutual recognition” was being cultivated (culminating in the meeting of Balamand in 1993 and the nondescript text regarding Unia, which was co-signed by nine Orthodox Churches, the first being the Ecumenical Patriarchate). When the reposed fr. John Romanides remonstrated about all of these things - and especially about the acceptance of the method of Unia - he was admonished by means of letters filled with rage (the letters have been preserved...) and he was threatened indirectly with defrocking. (He refused to compromise with this stance – a fact that led him to his grave much sooner....)
We spoke of a pre-decided and pursued “course” previously; so now, to allay any doubts whatsoever, we shall present an indisputable “document”, which reveals the basis of this “course”, as set down by the Patriarch Athenagoras. In August of 1971, a group of Greek Clergymen (twenty from America and ten from West Gemany), along with their wives and other persons, visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Athenagoras’ greeting was tape-recorded by many who were present, and these tapes are still available, to this very day. The transcribed text was published in the 13/1/1979 edition of the newspaper “Orthodox Press”. When seeking to interpret the current phenomena and their development, the aforementioned transcript came to mind, which definitely had the semblance of a program. It did not only express the ideological world of the former Patriarch and the spiritual setting of his ecumenist actions, but also the trusts that he was so opportunely or inopportunely leaving to those who supported him – trusts that proved to be programmatic and unchangeable.
«... In this place, on the 15th of July of the year 1054, a certain cardinal Umberto deposited on the Holy Altar of the Haghia Sophia (that you will visit tomorrow), a libel against the Patriarch Michael Kerularios. Upon which, Kerularios gave his response –and I am not sure if he acted wisely in responding– but anyway, he gave a response. And these two libels, these two letters, were referred to as “schism”. A Schism was never proclaimed, either by Rome, or by the East, nevertheless, we experienced it for 900 years. With many consequences, with much destruction. We lived through it, a whole 900 years! Without having a brother to tell him how much you love him! Then suddenly one December day, in 1963, I announced to the Press that the Pope had decided to come to Jerusalem, and, while officiating in a neighboring church here, I announced that I would ask to meet with him. I came here, and I issued an announcement through the Associated Press that we should meet. The Vatican’s station responded, and on the 5th of January 1964 we met in Jerusalem, at 9 in the evening, at the Pope’s residence. And when we saw each other, our embraces opened up automatically. The one threw himself into the arms of the other. When we were asked: How did you kiss, brothers, after 900 years? You ask how? We both went hand in hand into his quarters, and we had a secret conversation between us. What did we say? Who knows what two souls say when they converse! Who knows what two hearts say when they exchange feelings! What did we say? We formed a common program, with an absolute equality, not difference. Then we invited our entourages, we read an excerpt from the Gospel, and we recited the Lord’s Prayer, and I made the first address. And we said that we are already on the way to Emmaus, and are going to meet with the Lord in the common Chalice. In his response, the Pope offered me a holy Chalice. He did not know that I was going to mention a Holy Chalice, nor did I know that he was to offer me a Holy Chalice! What was this? A symbolism of the future. In 1965 we lifted the Schism, in Rome and here, with our representatives there and those representatives here. And in July of 1967 the Pope came here. It would have been easier to move a mountain from Italy, for example the Appenines, and bring them here, rather than the Pope to come here. For the first time in History. Popes had come at other times, but as captives. Rituals were performed in the Patriarchal temple; I received him in my office, which you will see, and there we had another conversation and we agreed to one day meet, at that place where we had diverged.
» Up until 1054 we had many differences between us. In this thing, in that thing. The Filioque. It was inserted into the Creed in the 6th century and we had accepted it, for 6 whole centuries. And there are so many other differences. But we love each other. And when people love one another, there are no differences. But in 1054, when we ceased loving each other, all the differences befell us. We loved each other, and we had the same sacrament; the same baptism, the same sacraments and particularly the Holy Chalice. Now that we have returned to ’54, why don’t we also return to the Holy Chalice? There are two paths: The theological dialogue; and we have the theologians on both sides, who are studying the matter of returning to olden times. And because I do not hinge my hopes on the theological dialogue – I really do not, and may the theologians here (who are quite a few) forgive me – that is why I prefer the dialogue of love. We should love one another! And what is happening today? A spirit of love is spreading above the Christians of East and West. We already love one another. The Pope said so: I acquired a brother, and I let him know him that I love him! I also said so: I have acquired a brother and I told him that I love him! When will this thing come? The Lord knows. We do not know. What I do know, is that it will come. I believe that it will come. Because it is not possible for it not to come, as it is already coming. Because already in America, you are giving communion to many people from the Holy Chalice, and it is a good thing that you are doing! The same is done here, when Catholics or Protestants come and ask for Communion, I offer them the Holy Chalice! And the same thing is done in Rome, and England, and France. It is already coming, by itself. But it must not come from the laity and the clergy. It must also be in accordance with the hierarchy and Theology. That is therefore why we strive to also have theologians with us, so that this major event of Pan-Christianity might come to be. And along with this major event, our dream of Pan-Humanity might also come to be. I have lived through seven wars. And I have seen much destruction, much blood being shed. And all wars are civil wars; they are wars between brothers… And your arrival here has reinforced that faith, that the grand and illustrious day of the Lord, that meeting in the same Holy Chalice, will come…”
If we wanted to analyze this text in detail, it would require a tremendous amount of space. That is why we shall confine ourselves to certain basic observations. The interpretation of the Schism of 1054 most assuredly will not stand up to serious criticism, and it displays an ignorance or a distortion of History. Besides, the reposed Patriarch – as we can see from the text – was not…very fond of theologians; as for the dogmas, well, they can be stored (as he frequently proclaimed) in the “treasury” or even the “museum”. I will completely bypass the nondescript sentimentality of the text, with regard to the descriptions of his meeting with the Pope. In fact, I wonder why Athenagoras’ circles at times even bothered to condemn organizational pietism… Judging by the words of the Patriarch, it becomes more than obvious that “agreements” had been reached for the thenceforth-mutual course of Constantinople and Rome. Besides, sentimentalisms were more than enough for the coverage of the first few moments of their encounter…. Needless, also, for one expound what was said about the addition to the Creed (the Filioque). It is no wonder, therefore, that even before its commencement, the theological dialogue – or dialogue of faith – was subjected by the Patriarch to the dialogue of love; in other words, to amiable relations and sentimentalities. This is the form of “dialogue” on which the Patriarch also founds the “common Chalice”, the sacramental inter-communion which, according to his admission, had already become a status quo in 1971. We therefore wonder why the surprise, when the Immaculate Sacraments were offered to Papists in Ravenna recently, or in churches in Athens – as revealed by the letters recently published by the newspaper “Orthodox Press”. It is said, of course, that in Ravenna, a relative reminder was given to the Roman Catholics who were present. The question is, why the respective reminders by us humble priests were “observed” in Germany, whereas in Ravenna, they were not as effective! But, the reason is something else. After the agreement in Balamand (1993), everyone in the West came to believe that the union is a fact, and that consequently, sacramental inter-communion is absolutely natural.
Besides, according to the article published in the Press (see newspaper “Kathimerini”, edition of 16/06/02), His Holiness had linked Christian unity to the progress of European unity: “The co-existence in the same political-economic sphere of the European peoples”, he said, “who belong to the two Churches, will most assuredly contribute towards a closer rapprochement between them and will assist in the restitution of the unity that existed before the Schism.” Just that simply! Secular elements are being employed, to eliminate the internal, and purely ecclesiastic, prerequisite.
Athenagoras’ spirit and his “course” has fenced in everyone, and even if they now wanted to, they would not dare circumvent it or at least amend it, because of our progressively blunted criteria and the relativizing and ideologizing of the Faith according to political models; the Faith, which has been rendered (by us) a mere sum of theoretical truths that permits compromises, and not seen as a demarcation of the event of “existence in Christ”. From the albeit limited experience that we have of the inter-Christian dialogues, we are, nevertheless, aware of the method implemented by the heterodox for decades now: the cultivation of personal relations and a climate of (secular) friendship amongst theologians, through all the means available, but also the provision of financial support (in fact, several of our metropolitans believe they should take pride in recording their gratitude towards the World Council of Churches or the Vatican for the financial support given to their Institutions), for the purpose of blunting and weakening every disposition for witness and confession. This has been going on for decades now. A complete predominance of secular and political practices.
It is along the same spirit that the Leadership of the Church of Greece has been moving; in fact, it has even been using the same pretext: “We are holding a dialogue”, they claim, “we are not changing our faith”! And certainly the dialogue as a “loving outlet” towards the other (as the ecumenists say in their language) is a blessed thing, however, in this case, the dialogue has long since been understood as a “mutual recognition” and not a genuine meeting in the Truth, i.e., in the one Christ, as delivered to us in the words and the lives of our Saints. This here constitutes “Uniatism”. This “Uniatizing” stance is one that even accommodates our own attitudes, inasmuch as a recognition of non-Christianity as Christianity (and of Papism -for example- as a Church) would be a pretext and an illusion on our part of the continuance of our Tradition, given that, formally and externally, we would not actually be denying our Faith and our Tradition. The problem however, is, if we were to attribute Christianity and Orthodoxy to any fallacy whatsoever, will our Truth be preserved? “What communion can there be, between light and darkness?” (Cor.II, 6:14)
As an excuse for this stance (of ours), they are projecting a supposed concern for the preservation of Christianity in Europe, since the anti-Christian politics of the powers that be in the European Union is increasing dangerously and threateningly and the European Constitution that is being drafted contains no mention whatsoever of Europe’s Christian legacy. And up to this point, things seem feasible. The question, however, is: By allying with Papism and supporting it as a Church, which Christianity would we be preserving? Are we to sacrifice Orthodoxy, in order to preserve Papism? God forbid! What use would Europe have of this kind of “Christianity”? Isn’t Europe’s (and not only!) overall historical wretchedness (ideological, social and political) rooted in the distortion that Christianity was subjected to, with the development and the establishment of the Papal edifice? If Papism doesn’t “die”, with its repentance in Christ and its return to the one Church of Christ – in other words, if Papism doesn’t become a Church - it will only be offering an adulterated Christianity to Europe and the world. Then, instead of preaching the Orthodoxy of our Fathers to a spiritually half-dead Europe, we will end up being pathetic crutches, of Papism and of the State of Vatican, thus repeating the crime that our “Byzantine” fathers had committed in 1438. We had then been invited by the anti-papist Roman Catholics to the Synod of Basle (1431 – 1437/8), in their attempts to overthrow the oppressive papist yoke. We, instead, had preferred to accept Pope Eugene IV’s invitation (1431-1447), who, with the Ferrara-Florence synod, was trying to salvage his authority. And we chose to side with the Pope, thus supporting Papism, and woe betide us, if we hadn’t been rescued (from most assuredly becoming Franks ourselves) by saint Mark and the “obstinate” monks and clerics of “Byzantium”. Thus, instead of projecting the Orthodoxy of our Fathers in Europe, our stance will only be strengthening a Papism that has begun to crumble in the conscience of Europeans, by acknowledging it as Christian and as a Church. It appears that the Babylonian captivity that Athenagoras’ course has led us into, is insurmountable.
However, whatever is going on in the inter-Christian dialogue, also applies to our inter-faith policy. And here, the “course” is long since a given fact, and a pre-determined one. In the above homily addressed to the orthodox priests of emigrant Hellenes, the Patriarch Athenagoras expressed his conviction that “with the union of the Churches, we shall be moving towards a pan-humankind.” This was made even more clear in 1972 (newspaper “BEMA”, 22/8/1972 edition), by the former Archbishop of America Iakovos, who had also co-presided over the World Council of Churches: “..the W.C.C. is moving towards the realization of its goal, through the merging of cultures, religions and peoples.” Furthermore, in an interview of his for the magazine “NEMESIS” (November 1999 issue), he actually expressed his disappointment, because that objective of the W.C.C. was taking far too long to accomplish. The reason for the existence of the W.C.C. was none other, finally, than the New Age’s Pan-Religion – a purpose that has now been fully clarified in our time. We would like to ask all those “high-flying love-mongers and lyrically idealizing (to quote fr. John Romanides) colleagues”: Can this self-inflicted subjugation of Orthodoxy to a multi-membered and polyonymous deception really be considered a ‘love outlet’ towards others? Naturally, it is not the Orthodoxy of our Fathers that is being subjugated; it is our own cacodoxy-simulating-Orthodoxy, which is already subjugated to our passions (our interests etc.).
But even here, we are faithfully following the “course” of the 2nd Vatican Synod, which Athenagoras had also followed faithfully. This Synod had proclaimed that the three large monotheist religions (faiths) all believe in the same God, thus facilitating the dialogue and the course towards the union and the inter-faith realm. I ask to be forgiven for repeating something that I have already said in another circumstance: When, in 1969, I had gone to (then West) Germany and in fact in Bonne, I found myself in an environment where the decisions and the positions of the 2nd Vatican Synod prevailed. The Protestant world (my contacts were with Lutherans), despite any opposition to Papism that it had, was nevertheless in accord with this opening towards the major religions, because that was exactly what the underlying pan-religious movement was promoting. In a seminar on Patrology (in a Lutheran environment), a discussion on the various religions’ belief in the same God came up. At that moment, I became conscious of my Hellenic element, so I resorted to Socrates’ method and asked them: “How many suns are there in our world?” With a smile of condescendence, they replied: “One, of course.” “No,” I continued, “because, how is it possible for me to look directly at the Sun here in Germany, whereas in Greece, if I look directly at it, I will be blinded?” So, I concluded, that the Sun is indeed one, but it differs, depending on the manner and the circumstances that we view it. The same applies to God. He is One, but every religion, just as every Christian group, views Him in its own manner. Thus, depending on the manner that God is viewed (this is called theology), we have a different God in each group. Patristic Orthodoxy, however, is the coinciding of our knowledge of God, with God’s self-revelation in History. The objective of “faith” – God’s self-revelation in His Saints (the “believed faith”) – must coincide with our view and acceptance of God (the “believing faith”). This is the point where Orthodoxy mainly differs from any heresy and fallacy.
The inter-faith meetings and common prayers had commenced officially in 1986, in Assisi of Italy; therefore, they are not just scientific conventions of a religious content; they are actually congregations for the confession of a unity, on the basis of the One God, and are convened around the Pope, with him at the center and as spiritual leader of this union - in effect, of all the world. This is why the Pope was called “World Ruler No.2”. It must be stated, that head of our patriarchal delegation in 1986 was the Rev. Metropolitan Methodios (Fouyias) of Pisidia (today), while in Assisi in 1994, it was His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios (Yannoulatos) of Albania. A new, pan-(inter-)faith meeting took place under the Pope this year (2002), once again in Assisi, with the participation of 250 personalities representing 12 religions. Of course the Orthodox were not absent, who were under the same Ecumenical Patriarch.
As it has very aptly been observed, “the inter-faith dialogues appear to be fully compliant to the views and the practices with which syndicated members, politicians and ideologies converse nowadays.” (Chr. Yannaras). Moreover, after the 11th of September 2001 and whatever that date signifies for our world, it became more than evident that those dialogues are conducted “under orders” and in fact, in defense -and for the propagandizing- of official and legal terrorism, versus the unofficial and “rebel” one. Thus, our era makes a mockery even of the religious dialogues, which are working together for the policing of the world according to the interests and the dispositions of the powerful ones of the Earth. And we, obedient to the instructions and to the “set course” participate and convert Orthodoxy into an instrument and a rear guard. Thus, we ourselves are gagging Orthodoxy, which, instead of being the “judgment” and the “checking” of iniquity, is transformed, in our person, into its supporter and maintainer. And of course here, there is the easy excuse: So that we are not characterized as reactionaries, and so that our European (and New Order) profile be enhanced! Thus, the search for religious tolerance, wherever it may have slackened or vanished, as “an essential component of monotheist beliefs” (A.D.Papayannides, “BEMA” newspaper, 9.6.02 edition) would have been a blessing, if it wasn’t in fact for meetings taking place “under orders”. The upcoming but postponed Athens inter-faith meeting (it was preceded, by another one, in Cyprus) will prove just how much it is going to be “a deposition of our witness” and Orthodoxy being proposed as the only solution to the ordeals of the world, and not a levelling of Orthodoxy within the pan-religious (and hence syncretistic) pulp. The Head of the Bureau of our Church has already announced that our endeavor is “to prepare the people, to educate them, so that they do not react (to the dialogues, that is); to shape (in other words, to manipulate – G.D.M.) the conscience of the people.” Therefore, even here, a certain “set course” is being followed; but who is designating it? And yet, the admonitory “Memorandum on Ecumenism” by a pleiad of Clergymen, Priors, Spiritual Fathers and noted Orthodox theologians that was submitted to Archbishop Christodoulos was not accepted. In it, we read the following:
“Inter-faith Ecumenism is rampant. It is not confined to the limits of a philosophical or social dialogue (author’s note: i.e., the dialogue is not rejected as a “love outlet” etc.). It is moving on to a theological level, and is trying to find common points of faith between Orthodox and heterodox. It is not taking into consideration the basic differences. It is proclaiming that salvation can also be found in the other religions, and in fact in the monotheistic ones. It is thus overthrowing the fundamental Christian belief that “salvation is not found within anything else…”. Inter-faith syncretism is relativizing the truth of the Gospel. It is even going as far as the level of worship. Orthodox Hierarchs or even Head Hierarchs are participating in pan-religious events like the one in Assisi, or in common prayers and glorifications with heterodox and other faiths, and specifically with Jews and Moslems. One can only wonder: which God are they glorifying? The Holy Apostles preached in the Synagogues, but they preached “Jesus Christ and Him crucified, which is why persecutions, imprisonments, torture and death ensued...”.
We, on the contrary, by levelling Christ in practice, with all sorts of deities, are reaping honors and praise, enjoying distinctions and awards. That alone shows that “something is not right” with us. The world “loves its own” (John 15, 19) and we are also identifying with the powers of the world, when we love “rather the glory of people, above the gloy of God” (John 12, 43).
In the inter-faith dialogues, we encounter the same haste, the same mentality and the same methods that are also observed in the conducting of the inter-Christian dialogues. Because, finally, it is all about the same objective. The inter-embracing of these two forms of the one, same-in-essence dialogue became evident in Canberra, Australia (Ζ΄ Γ. W.C.C. Convention), where the Christians had invited even idolaters into common prayer. This, obviously, is not a case of religious tolerance and a “love outlet” etc., but a relativizing of faith, as connoted by the statement of the person responsible for these dialogues, the Rev. Metropolitan Damascenos of Switzerland: “This approach”, he writes, “causes us to suddenly acquire an awareness of the fact that, deep down, one Church or one Mosque…aspire to the same spiritual awarding of Man.” Isn’t this an automatic dismissal of salvation in Christ and the task of the Holy Spirit? If there is, indeed, a possibility of salvation “in something else”, then why the revelation in Christ, as non-incarnate in the Old Testament and incarnate in the New Testament? Why the Incarnation, the Pentecost, the Church as the Body of Christ and the community of Saints? Our actions constitute a rejection of Christianity - despite our misleading fancy talk – that can no longer fool anyone.
Given that one’s word is always a “course”, we must not forget that in 1970 in Geneva, where the “oracle” of every anti-Christian, anti-Orthodox contrivance is situated, during the second convention of the American Foundation with the title “Temple of Understanding, Inc.” – in other words, an “Association of United Religions” – the Secretary General of the W.C.C. Eugene Blake invited the leaders of all religions (April 2nd) and a supra-confessional liturgy and prayer took place in the Cathedral of Saint Peter, during which, each one prayed in his own language and in accordance with the rite of his own religion. However, all of them were urged to thus co-exist in the worship of the same God. But this is clearly a faithful implementation of the Masonic method of transcending every ideology and faith in order to attain union, and in fact under the master of this world. According to the existing advertising material of these congregations, also present were Orthodox representatives; the Rev. Metropolitan Emilianos of Silyvria of the Ecumenical Patriarchate – currently inactive and residing in Aegion – is a member of the “International Committee of the Temple”.
And yet, all of these things have been replied to, in the Holy Gospel, which refutes all our pretenses. When the ecumenists reject us as “fanatics” and “fundamentalists”, they are simultaneously rejecting our Saints (whose stance we humbly emulate), but also the Lord Himself, Who, not desirous of gathering followers by sacrificing the Truth whenever His word was regarded as “harsh” and was abandoned by many, had turned to the terrified “twelve” and asked them: “Do you perhaps also want to leave?” (John 6:48 etc). This, dear “love-mongers” and idealizers, is our “set course”, and not the “course” of those who have capitulated with the potentates of this world, and those who are not our genuine Pastors.
It must, however, be regarded as certain that the deviation by our Leaders from the “set course” of Orthodoxy – the “little flock” (Luke 12,32) – will not be tolerated for very long by the powers of the World, inside and outside the Church (see Acts 20, 29, etc.)
The theory of Propaganda teaches that the method pursued in these cases is firstly to mock all those who have a contrary opinion (all of us are already looked upon as “picturesque”), and then to morally demote and humiliate them, to be followed afterwards –if so decided- by their physical annihilation. The principles governing the indictment against reactionaries are already being compiled. Very recently, the American Congress prohibited all characterisms of other ideologies, and especially of other religious groups as “heretics” or such like. Albeit in somewhat gentler fashion, the Orthodox (through the Press and literary criticism) are censured if they dare to characterize “others” (based on their faith), on the basis of the implied and not concealed factor that all religions constitute a path towards the knowledge of God, in a different way. This is what noted ecclesiastic Leaders have proclaimed.
It is not broadly known, of course, that some time ago, the authors of the Religious Studies book for 1st year high school students (I.Ch.Gotsis, fr. G.Metallinos and G.Filias) were served with an extrajudicial warning from “Jehovah’s Witnesses” and “Scientologists” for the related chapters of that book, which, naturally, view those areas from an Orthodox perspective. The warning was sent to the Ministry of National Education and Religions as well as the Pedagogical Institute. We of course responded, but we are unaware of the outcome. However, the adventure related to the chapter on Masonry is a more familiar one. Given that the lot fell to the undersigned to author that chapter, I experienced in detail every move and method, but also all the pressures that were employed for the removal of that chapter, so that I had to re-compose it three times and finally suggest that a self-description of Masonry be first submitted, and then be accompanied by a parallel, Orthodox view of it. What was even more comically tragic, however, was that those chapters were provided by the Analytical Program of the Ministry (the Pedagogical Institute) itself, which (Analytical Program) even designated the lines that we had to go along. Thus, the question is: Who, finally, rules this land? Of course we already know the answer, in great detail; however, it is up to the Ministry to elucidate whether we as a Nation can withstand these applied pressures.
With our (willing and enthusiastic) transformation into a “prefecture” and not a “province” of the European Union - the latter being the assignee and a “special branch” of the New World Order and its leadership – it is becoming evident, more and more ostentatiously and openly, that it is defining our lives and behaviors through various channels, by transfusing into them its own mentalities, by thousands of means.
Recently, our Department (of Theology) received a document (to be precise, an unsigned one), originating from the University personnel responsible for the European programs, in which, although we were commended for our successful response to a program that was suggested to us, titled “Orthodoxy and Globalization”, our Program was nonetheless judged as “inadequate”, because, among other things, “it was observed that the program in general was of a confessional and mostly of an applied nature, without aligning itself with the broader program of studies on religious phenomena and of Religion as a pan-human phenomenon and reality.” And this, despite the fact that the scientific perspective of Religion was not missing from our Program (a special professor teaches it). But the purpose was to project the “confessional” character of our Department and our Theological Schools in general. This means that in a few years’ time, our Theological Schools (if they manage to survive in the University) will be turned into scientific courses. That is why attempts are being made to render the Schools of Theology under the jurisdiction of the Church’s Administration. When I refer to our “sovietizing” within the European Union, I mean this: Whatever the other Orthodox had lived through, during their soviet-communist period, we Hellenes also risk living through, in the European Union and the New World Order.
This is the course that is being designated. Our freedom is being dangerously confined and we are instructed to act and move “in obeisance to their laws” and on the basis of the “course” that was carved out decades ago. Differently, we shall be deprived of a “European persona” and there will be no room for us as free co-partners within Europe. Is our Ecclesiastic Leadership prepared to resist, and choose «the scorn of Christ, towards the treasures in Europe» (Hebr.11:26), especially when it comes to realistic treasures, in the guise of European funds? Is our Church willing and prepared -if necessary- to choose the catacombs? I pray that she will be! Although this will soon become apparent. But if she is not willing, then it will mean She is severing Herself from the pious flock that has remained faithful to the tradition of its Saints, and is betraying it.
We have become accustomed to regarding obedience as a supreme virtue of a practicing Orthodox; and it is, indeed, a standard practice of our Saints. If, however, “obedience” had always pertained “to those in which the commandment of God is not obstructed” –according to Basil the Great (P.G. 31,860)—nowadays, only disobedience saves!