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From the Right Hand of the Lord to the Far-Right of the Devil

October 24, 2012

Greek politicians flirting with the Greek Orthodox Church (the faith, the clergy and the symbols) is not a new phenomenon. Numerous politicians on our party political scene (with the exception of those on the Left) always flirted with the Christian beliefs of the Greeks, their spiritual leaders, and Orthodox semantics during election periods (and sometimes beyond).

On their part, many Greek bishops did not ignore these flirtatious advances.  They cultivated political friendships, they offered electioneering support to the candidates and always tried to elicit a flash of publicity from the political system and a had a shot at getting up on the podium of power and “prestige”.

This is all well known.  Charm on one hand and ecclesiastical “sins” on the other. All of us saw it and most of us remained silent at the ridiculousness of it all. While the “Right of the Lord” (which was mobilized by the cunningly stupid political game of the episcopate) could have possibly kept the Lord laughing, in that the image that was depicted, showed that, aside from magnanimity,  in its gaiety the God of Christianity should also have plenty of humour…

This was until yesterday. Because more flirting today adds a new component, which pushes the boundaries and puts the risk index of the Church into the red zone. Golden Dawn’s extreme right wing attempt to usurp the faith, the cassock and its symbols (from the participation of their members in icon processions to  the comical image of its skinhead MPs who make statements about “honour of Our Lady,” even their latest championship of the much loved elder of the Orthodox faithful , the late Fr. Paisios)  is not the same as the earlier quaint charm of our whistle-stopping politicians across the party spectrum. It is just as  hypocritical and insincere but its also adds something new: it comes from people who stand, in express terms, ideologically at the antithesis of Christian teaching.  Golden Dawn is ideologically opposed to the Gospel words  “there is neither Jew nor Greek …” (Gal. 3.28). The outright rhetoric of hate bears no relation at all to the sermon of love and reconciliation. The ideology of racial supremacy, indicated by the Golden Dawn’s slogan “blood and honour” (inspired by Hitkler, in imitation of Blut und Boden) is the antithesis of what we find in the Old Testament where  the patriarch Abraham is uprooted from his fatherland (Gen. 12.1), and counters the Christ of the New Testament who founds a new race and assembles  His Church by breaking the bonds of family, blood and race (see, for example, Mark. 31-35 ˙ Mt. 8.11 and 8.22). And the primitive cult of fist-fighting also bears  no relation to the ethos of “whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the left one also” (Mt 5,39 ˙ see also Rom. 12.17). To state that you are Christian, just to steal the  votes of naive members of the Church is something we recognise from the past. However, to pretend to be a Christian, when your placement in public space is based on speech that is anti-Christ, is in another class and a dangerous  phenomenon for the Church.

In terms of the Christian Faith, whatever contradicts the truth of Christ is the work of the devil, that is the one who divides, who wedges something between humans and the truth, in order to separate the former from the latter. Today, a political formation trying to do just that. Not to deliberately alienate the Christian faith – apparently Golden Dawn is not interested in the Christian faith, at all. However (and this applies to all those who care about the quality of our theological criteria) Golden Dawn propagates a demonic slander within the Church: that one be both a Christian and member of Golden Dawn

Church members have a duty to raise the alarm. A wolf has entered their flock…

Text: Basil Argyriadis translated from Greek

[Not a great translation- but it was very idiomatic and translated quickly] 

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Theodoros permalink
    October 25, 2012 8:40 pm

    Greetings. What a great site. I am glad to see that somebody recognizes the threat
    that Golden Dawn poses to the Greek Orthodox Church and Greek society. I am disappointed that only one Bishop has spoken against them thus far. The Church of
    Greece needs to learn that this group is both racist and based on paganism and the
    occult. The late Archbishop Christodoulos would have spoken up by now.

    • October 25, 2012 10:14 pm

      I am dubious about your last comment. My experience of the late hierarch tends otherwise.
      The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Synod have also issued a statement and other bishops in Greece are coming to the fore.

  2. Theodoros permalink
    October 26, 2012 12:24 am

    Archbishop Christodoulos frequently condemned anti-semitism including when he
    made additions to the statue of Archbishop Damaskinos outside the Cathedral of Athens.
    He also traveled to one of the Nazi death camps in Poland and honored the Jewish
    victims and condemned racism. He condemned in 2000 the desecration of a Jewish
    cemetery in Thessaloniki.

    Where can I find the statement of the Greek Archdiocese of America?

    Ted

  3. October 26, 2012 9:10 am

    I stand corrected- I remember him as a bit of a demagogue.
    The Statement is at the end of this

    http://www.goarch.org/news/eparcialsynod-fall-10232012

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