Our Duty: To Pray for the Hierarchy of the Greek Orthodox Church

From the very outset nearly 200 years ago the small Church of Greece was so spiritually weak that it fell victim to nationalism. Thus, nearly 100 years ago, it decided to obey the Greek State and adopted the Roman Catholic calendar. Then it fell for Western-imposed ecumenism, it put pews into its churches (that was starting forty years ago when I lived and worked in Greece), then Greek men and women stopped dressing appropriately for church. Now some in it seem to be about to fall for the anti-Orthodox American bait and recognize the absurd, schismatic semi-Uniat Anti-Orthodox Church (AOC) in (the Western) Ukraine, set up there under immense US political pressure on the Greek nationalist bishops in Istanbul.

Some rather extreme people would say: Birds of a feather flock together: fanatical Greek nationalists attract fanatical Ukrainian nationalists. They all have the same thing in common: they have no love for Christ, only for their primitive tribal racism. Therefore, they can join with the American elite and destroy the multilingual Orthodox Church of Russia with its more than seventy nationalities. Here are the fruits of Greek racial jealousy at a Church that is 16 times bigger than itself.

The US political elite knows exactly how to flatter that weakness. US ambassadors in the Balkans have received their instructions, appointing one Archbishop or Patriarch after another. Having spread the poison of Balkanization to the extreme west of the Ukraine, they have returned to impoverished Greece, ever the soft underbelly of the Orthodox world, so weak that it could not even keep the Orthodox calendar and the other values of Christian Civilization, ever ready to buckle under ‘financial aid’.

Some rather extreme people would quote St John the Baptist and say that the axe must be laid to the root of the Church of Greece. Having fallen into racism, it is ‘ready for the chop’. And then they add, and let the Russian Church take over Mt Athos and all those on the old calendar in Greece and set up a real Church. It must seize the leadership of the Orthodox world, of which the Greeks have shown themselves once more, as at Florence, totally unworthy. Extremists add:

‘Stop the ecumenical dances with Rome and Canterbury and the WCC and the Baltic and Finnish Lutherans. Anyway, these have no real influence left — least of all the WCC and Canterbury. Whether Moscow is present or absent in WCC meetings will not matter anything to anyone. These Western bodies are withering on the vine and will never do anything meaningful to alleviate the West’s inborn hatred of Russia. They have not done anything regarding the Ukraine! Whatever Russia does to be friendly to the West will not avail it anything — what the West wants (consciously or not) is Russia’s subjection. The Russian Church has the opportunity to stand fast and stand gloriously alone, as the Third Rome, as the only great Christian Church that still believes in the primacy of truth over (false) unity and (false) charity. If Rue Daru can repent, then why not the old calendarists’?

However, all of this talk is far too premature. Our real concern is the unity of the ten-million strong Church of Greece. If its Archbishop dares to concelebrate with Sergey (‘Epifany’) Dumenko, the head of the fictitious Church of the Ukraine’, there will be a schism in that Local Church. This is our main concern. We leave petty racist jealousy and politics aside. Today the Greek Orthodox Church faces a self-imposed internal schism between the Orthodox and those who are falling into the phyletist heresy of provincial racism. Pray!