Author Topic: Greek Orthodox Church-State separation deal?  (Read 558 times)

Offline Xavier

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Greek Orthodox Church-State separation deal?
« on: January 24, 2019, 04:19:23 AM »
Greece, where 98% of the population is Greek Orthodox, may be soon heading for a split-up between Church and State. Thoughts from Orthodox here?

I think it is a bad agreement, and if it was the Catholic Church, we would not want a deal like this to be signed. But even beside that, it's bad, as it will lead to more secularism in a normally Christian country. And if the Orthodox were re-united with the Catholic Church, the good Orthodox Prelates and Priests who are resisting would be in a stronger position to negotiate better terms. The sad reality is secularism encroaches on more and more Christian countries the longer we delay. Catholic-Orthodox re-union is very urgent and all Catholics and Orthodox should be praying for it every day. Christendom would be immeasurably strengthened were it to happen. Link

Quote
"The government of Greece and the Orthodox Church may be headed for breakup next month under a historic deal negotiated in secret between Archbishop Ieronymos and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras ... Many Orthodox Christian clergy are not happy about it.

“Orthodoxy was sold out,” Metropolitan Amvrosios of Kalavryta, one of the fiercest critics of the deal, wrote in an open letter last month. “We’re going to lose whatever is left of the ecclesiastical estate. Greek Orthodox clergy should rebel.”

Priests have held vigils, threatened to excommunicate the prime minister and promised to exhort voters to abandon his left-wing Syriza party since the agreement was announced Nov. 6 ... Ieronymos, on the other hand, has been quiet since he announced the deal with Tsipras.

When he announced the deal, however, Ieronymos said it would protect the church in the long run from politics.

“The church has the economic opportunity to become free and acquire its autonomy,” he said in November.

« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 04:33:34 AM by Xavier »
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Offline aquinas138

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Re: Greek Orthodox Church-State separation deal?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2019, 02:24:38 PM »
Not familiar with the finer details of the existing relationship between church and state in Greece, but it's a mixed bag. On one hand, I'm sure the GO clergy receive state salaries and probably seminary support; obviously this would be difficult to lose. On the other hand, separation from the state does allow the church to be critical of the government in a way that is not always possible when the two are intertwined. Given that Tsipras is an avowed atheist socialist, the GO church might find a little distance useful. It's not easy to know what's best when the civil government is not confessional.
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Offline Prayerful

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Re: Greek Orthodox Church-State separation deal?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2019, 10:46:07 AM »
Not familiar with the finer details of the existing relationship between church and state in Greece, but it's a mixed bag. On one hand, I'm sure the GO clergy receive state salaries and probably seminary support; obviously this would be difficult to lose. On the other hand, separation from the state does allow the church to be critical of the government in a way that is not always possible when the two are intertwined. Given that Tsipras is an avowed atheist socialist, the GO church might find a little distance useful. It's not easy to know what's best when the civil government is not confessional.

One possible angle is that hostile interference can be of help. Older Catholic churches in France with a Communist local government was in charge often had a better chance of not been wreckovated. The Communist politician wanted to frustrate the Catholic Church, maybe seeing the church as a local heritage site he didn't want wrecked, but it meant a church which survived mostly intact. What I mean is that interference which slow down over ambitious priests or bishops can be good. Priests doing what they wanted (provided it involved hating the Mass) wrecked Catholicism. Sometimes slow is better.
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Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Greek Orthodox Church-State separation deal?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2019, 02:46:38 PM »
Ah yes: "A free Church in a Free state"; where have I heard this saying before?
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