Timeline of Orthodoxy in Greece (from 1974)

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This article is about Orthodoxy in Greece from 1974 AD onward. For other years, see Timeline of Orthodoxy in Greece.

This is a timeline of the presence of Orthodoxy in Greece. The history of Greece traditionally encompasses the study of the Greek people, the areas they ruled historically, as well as the territory now composing the modern state of Greece.

Christianity was first brought to the geographical area corresponding to modern Greece by the Apostle Paul, although the church's apostolicity also rests upon St. Andrew who preached the gospel in Greece and suffered martyrdom in Patras, Titus, Paul's companion who preached the gospel in Crete where he became bishop, Philip who, according to the tradition, visited and preached in Athens, Luke the Evangelist who was martyred in Thebes, Lazarus of Bethany, Bishop of Kition in Cyprus, and John the Theologian who was exiled on the island of Patmos where he received the Revelation recorded in the last book of the New Testament. In addition, the Theotokos is regarded as having visited the Holy Mountain in 49 AD according to tradition.[note 1] Thus Greece became the first European area to accept the gospel of Christ. Towards the end of the 2nd century the early apostolic bishoprics had developed into metropolitan sees in the most important cities. Such were the sees of Thessaloniki, Corinth, Nicopolis, Philippi and Athens.[1]

By the 4th century almost the entire Balkan peninsula constituted the Exarchate of Illyricum which was under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome. Illyricum was assigned to the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople by the emperor in 732. From then on the Church in Greece remained under Constantinople till the fall of the Byzantine empire to the Ottoman Empire in 1453. As an integral part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the church remained under its jurisdiction until Greek independence.[1] Under Ottoman rule, up to "6,000 Greek clergymen, ca. 100 Bishops, and 11 Patriarchs knew the Ottoman sword".[2][3][note 2]

The Greek War of Independence of 1821–28 created an independent southern Greece, but created anomalies in ecclesiastical relations since the Ecumenical Patriarch remained under Ottoman tutelage, and in 1850 the Endemousa Synod in Constantinople declared the Church of Greece autocephalous.

The cultural roots of both Byzantine and modern Greece cannot be separated from Orthodoxy. Therefore, it was natural that in all Greek Constitutions the Orthodox Church was accorded the status of the prevailing religion.[9][note 3]

In the 20th century, during much of the period of communism, the Church of Greece saw itself as a guardian of Orthodoxy. It cherishes its place as the cradle of the primitive church and the Greek clergy are still present in the historic places of Istanbul and Jerusalem, and Cyprus.[10] The autocephalous Church of Greece is organised into 81 dioceses, however 35 of these – known as the Metropolises of the New Lands – are nominally under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople but are administered as part of the Church of Greece; although the dioceses of Crete, the Dodecanese, and Mount Athos are under the direct jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.[11][note 4]

The Archbishop of Athens and All Greece presides over both a standing synod of twelve metropolitans (six from the new territories and six from southern Greece), who participate in the synod in rotation and on an annual basis, and a synod of the hierarchy (in which all ruling metropolitans participate), which meets once a year.[1]

The government observes several religious holidays as national holidays including Epiphany, Clean Monday (the start of Great Lent), Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Holy Spirit Day, the Dormition of the Theotokos and Christmas.[12]

Among the current concerns of the Church of Greece are the Christian response to globalization, to interreligious dialogue, and a common Christian voice within the framework of the European Union.[1]

The population of Greece is 11.4 million,[13][note 5] 98% of which are Greek Orthodox.[16][note 6]

Third Hellenic Republic (from 1974)[edit]

Archbishop Seraphim of Athens and All Greece (1974–1998).
The Cathedral of Agios Andreas (Saint Andrew) in Patras, Achaea, Greece.

Member State of the European Community (European Union)

Elder Paisios (Eznepidis) of Mt. Athos.
Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece (1998–2008).
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexii II, and head of the Greek Orthodox Church Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and all Greece, at the Kremlin in Moscow.
  • 2002 The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece rejected a proposal to introduce Modern Greek into the Divine Liturgy (similar to what the Second Vatican Council did for the Roman Catholic Church by allowing the use of the vernacular for the Mass), opting to keep Koine Greek as it was spoken 2,000 years ago and used in New Testament texts;[107] Metropolis of Glyfada is established as a new metropolis separating from Metropolis of Nea Smyrni;[108] Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople declared the monks of Esphigmenou Monastery (Athos) as being in schism with the Orthodox Church;[109] Patr. Bartholomew I (Archontonis) of Constantinople and Pope John Paul II co-sign Venice Declaration of Environmental Ethics.[110]
  • 2003 Abp. Christodoulos (Paraskevaides) of Athens inaugurated the Office of the Representation of the Church of Greece to the European Union in Brussels;[111][note 33] Orthodox Churches in Europe commemorated the 550th anniversary of the Fall of Constantinople in May;[note 34] the Greek Minister of Culture Evangelos Venizelos informs Europarliament session that the status of the monasteries on Holy Mount Athos and its way of life will remain unchanged, citing official recognition of this status fixed in Article 105 of the Greek Constitution and also legally confirmed in the special Athens Treaty clause specifying conditions on which Greece joined the European Union;[114][115][note 35] Abp. Christodoulos (Paraskevaides) of Athens has falling out with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew over who should have the final say in the appointment of bishops in northern Greece, but rift is mended three weeks later;[117][note 36] in February, the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church issued a statement opposing the threat of war in Iraq;[118] the Church of Greece sent more than 20 tons in humanitarian aid for the refugees of the war in Iraq to be distributed along the Jordanian-Iraqi border;[119] the proposal to build a mosque outside Athens before the 2004 Olympics was blocked due to opposition from residents and Greece's Orthodox Church which disagreed with the location and plans for the funding for the multimillion-pound mosque to come from Saudi Arabia's King Fahd;[120][121] the 5th Academic Meeting between Judaism And Orthodox Christianity was held in Thessaloniki, Greece, on May 27–29.[122]
  • 2004 In September, a helicopter carrying Patr. Petros VII (Papapetrou) of Alexandria along with 16 others (including 3 other bishops of the Church of Alexandria) crashed into the Aegean Sea while en route to the monastic community of Mount Athos with no survivors;[123] the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece decided to restore the female diaconate on 8 October 2004, for senior nuns in monasteries.[124][125][126][127][128][note 37]
  • 2005 Church of Greece hosted the WCC World Conference on Mission and Evangelism in Athens, the first in an Orthodox country in the history of this body;[129] in October, the "Grey Wolves" Turkish terrorist group staged a rally outside the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Phanar, proceeding to the gate where they laid a black wreath, chanting "Patriarch Leave" and "Patriarchate to Greece", inaugurating the campaign for the collection of signatures to oust the Ecumenical Patriarchate from Istanbul;[130][note 38] Britain's Prince Charles arrived on the monastic community of Mount Athos for a three-day visit in May;[132] Vladimir Putin becomes the first Russian state leader to visit Mount Athos.[133]
  • 2006 Abp. Christodoulos (Paraskevaides) of Athens visits Vatican, the first head of the Church of Greece to visit the Vatican, reciprocating the Pope's visit to Greece in 2001, signing a Joint Declaration on the importance of the Christian roots of Europe and protecting fundamental human rights;[134][135][note 39] Abp. Christodoulos castigated globalisation as a "crime against humanity";[137] Abp. Christodoulos welcomed the imminent arrival of millions of Orthodox faithful from Bulgaria and Romania into the EU from 1 January 2007, saying the influx will "will strengthen the voice of Orthodoxy" to address a perceived threat to national and religious identity posed by globalisation;[138] Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis goes on a three-day pilgrimage to Mount Athos;[139] Pope Benedict XVI met with Greek Orthodox Seminarians from the Apostoliki Diakonia theology college in Greece who were visiting Rome, urging them to confront the challenges that threaten the faith by working to unify all Christians;[140] the church reported that there were 216 men's monastic communities and 259 for women along with 66 sketes, with a total of 1,041 monks and 2,500 nuns, witnessing to a modern modest revival in monasticism;[141] in September, barely 48 hours after a Somali Islamic cleric called for Muslims to kill the Pope, Abp. Christodoulos told a sermon in Athens that Christians in Africa were suffering at the hands of "fanatic Islamists", citing the example of Roman Catholic monks who were slaughtered the previous year "because they wore the cross and believed in our crucified Lord";[142] Abp. Christodoulos criticized the authors of a state issued elementary school sixth grade history textbook, as attempting to conceal the Church's role in defending Greek national identity during Ottoman occupation, the book being later removed in 2007;[note 40] death of Elder Athanasios Mitilinaios, having authored thousands of recorded lectures in the spirit of patristic traditional Orthodoxy;[144] a ruling by a first-instance court in Athens approved the formation of an association of people who worship the 12 gods of Mount Olympus, linked to New Age practises by the Church of Greece;[145] government of Greece announces it will fund and build a €15 million (US$19 million) new mosque in Athens, to be the first working mosque in the Greek capital since the end of Ottoman rule over 170 years prior, welcomed by Abp. Christodoulos (Paraskevaides) of Athens and the Church of Greece in accordance with its established position.[146]
  • 2007 The 1600th anniversary celebration of the repose of John Chrysostom;[147][148] Greek Minority Lyceum at the Phanar (Megali tou Genous Sxoli, today a middle and high school of the Greek minority) wins a judgement condemning Turkey at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), for violation of the European Convention On Human Rights (protection of property);[149][note 41] the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) passed a resolution affirming "that the Ottoman campaign against Christian minorities of the Empire between 1914 and 1923 constituted a genocide against Armenians, Assyrians, and Pontian and Anatolian Greeks";[151][note 42] Representation of the Church of Cyprus to the European Union is established by decision of the Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus;[78][156] a half-finished painting in the Church of the Holy Virgin in Axioupolis, northern Greece, of Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin cutting off the beard of St Luke (Voino-Yasenetsky), painted as a symbol of communist oppression of the Church, offended traditionalists who wanted it removed.[157]

See also[edit]


Church Fathers


  1. ^ The Theotokos is the Patron of Mount Athos, which is known as: The Garden of the Mother of God, and The Holy Mountain of Our Lady. The arrival of the Theotokos at the Mountain is mentioned by codices L' 66 and I' 31 of the Library of Great Lavra Monastery.
  2. ^ "According to several accounts, from the Conquest of Constantinople to the last phase of the Greek War of Independence, the Ottoman Turks condemned to death 11 Ecumenical Patriarchs of Constantinople, nearly 100 bishops, and several thousands of priests, deacons and monks (Bompolines, 1952;[4] Paparounis, no date;[5] Perantones, 1972;[6] Pouqueville, 1824;[7] Vaporis, 2000.[8])."[3]
  3. ^ The provisions of the 1844 Constitution, where the Bavarian regency bequeathed the Hellenic State with a kind of caesaropapism, were repeated in articles 1 and 2 of the 1864 Constitution; article 1 and 2 of the 1911 Constitution; article 1 of the 1927 Constitution; articles 1 and 2 of the 1952 Constitution; article 1 of the 1968 constitutional text of the military dictatorship; and article 3 of the 1975 Constitution; (as well as article 9 of the 1925 and 1926 Constitutions, which were never enforced). [9]
  4. ^ "Codified in the 1928 Patriarchal and Synodical Act, the "New Lands" were entrusted to the temporary stewardship of the Church of Greece, provided that the Church respected the terms of the Act. The Act subsequently has been incorporated into several pieces of Greek legislation (Laws 3615/1928, 5438/1932, 599/1977, and Article 3, paragraph 1 of the current Greek Constitution), thereby recognizing the ecclesiastical agreement between the two sides."
  5. ^ The World Bank gives a figure of 11.30 million (2011),[14] while according to the 2011 Greek Census, the total enumerated population was 10,787,690.[15]
  6. ^ According to a December 2011 nationwide survey conducted by Metron Analysis (one of the biggest independent market research and public opinion survey companies in Greece), 95% of those polled reported that they were Orthodox Christians, while 1.5% said that they belong to some other religion, and 2.8% of the population said that they were irreligious or atheist, which is among the lowest figures in Europe.[17]
  7. ^ "The Mt. Athos Community, lead by Fr. Theokletos of Dionysiou and in cooperation with the Patriarchate, consented to the unjust and unethical resolution of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, condemning the Esphigmenou fathers moreover, ordered the exile of the Esphigmenou Abbot and 3 other leaders of the monastery. As a result, under the Military Junta, a Navy Warship enforced a sea blockade and Marines surrounded the monastery for weeks. Unwilling to be intimidated by this overwhelming military force the monastery unfurled a now famous banner over the monastery wall facing the battleship which read "Orthodoxy or Death"."[20]
  8. ^ Also: Sophia (Chotokourídou née Saoulidi) of Kleisoura, or Sophia the Righteous. Saint Sophia lived as an ascetic in an abandoned monastery in Kleisoura, Western Macedonia, Greece. She died on May 6th, 1974. On October 4, 2011, she was canonized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.[21]
  9. ^ Church and State
    The Orthodox Church in Greece has been considered historically as the protector of the so-called "Hellenic Orthodox Civilization." The actual role of the Orthodox Church since the creation of the Greek nation-state has been interpreted in many diverse and opposing ways; nevertheless, in all Greek Constitutions the Orthodox Church is accorded the status of the "prevailing religion". Article 3 of Greece's Constitution defines the relations between the Church and the State :
    "The prevailing religion in Greece is that of the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ. The Orthodox Church of Greece, acknowledging our Lord Jesus Christ as its head, is inseparably united in doctrine with the Great Church of Christ in Constantinople and with every other Church of Christ of the same doctrine, observing unwaveringly, as they do, the holy apostolic and synodal canons and sacred traditions. It is autocephalous and is administered by the Holy Synod of serving Bishops and the Permanent Holy Synod originating thereof and assembled as specified by the Statutory Charter of the Church in compliance with the provisions of the Patriarchal Tome of 29 June 1850 and the Synodal Act of 4 September 1928."[26][27]
    Greece is the only Orthodox state in the world. The relationship between the Church and the State can be characterized as sui generis, since there is no complete separation nor is there an established church.[26] The Church is the State-Church. The role of the Orthodox Church in maintaining Greek ethnic and cultural identity during the 400 years of Ottoman rule has strengthened the bond between religion and government. Most Greeks, whether personally religious or not, revere and respect the Orthodox Christian faith, attend church and major feast days, and are emotionally attached to Orthodox Christianity as their "national" religion.
  10. ^ The Greek language question was finally laid to rest on 30 April 1976, when Article 2 of Law 309 – still written in katharevousa – stipulated that Modern Greek should be the sole language of education at all levels, starting with the school year 1977–78.[28] According to Professor Yannaras:
    "the "language question" which divided Greece for over a hundred and fifty years – the "katharevousa" versus "demotic" controversy – never troubled the theologians, who followed the state-imposed "official" language, which until 1976 was a precondition for an academic career. When the government changed the rules, theologians dutifully adopted a language which was equally artificial... ...exemplifying theology's isolation from the country's traditions and the problems of the laity. Living linguistic expression is theology's vital need. It is through language that the fundamental difference between ecclesiastical theology and religious teaching or dogmatic ideology is revealed."[29]
  11. ^ "His 2,035 publications covered most aspects of academic theology. He wrote commentaries on all the books of the New Testament, with long extracts from patristic texts. He published critical editions of Three Liturgies and Small Euchologion on the basis of the liturgical manuscripts preserved in the libraries of Athens. He wrote books on homiletics and catechetics. He systematically refuted materialism, nihilism, and historical criticism of the Gospels. He also published studies on dogmatics, symbolics, and canon law. He translated the New Testament into the vernacular. His three-volume Dogmatics defended Christian doctrine with many patristics texts... [However] Trembelas' stature is sadly diminished by his entrapment in a Western theological outlook. He stands out from the spiritual environment of his time yet was also a part of it. From his youth he was an active member of a movement seeking to bring about a "spiritual renewal" in Greece on the model of Protestant pietism. He never questioned the movement's compatibility with his own spiritual roots."[30]
  12. ^ "As a result of the efforts of various organizations, such as the Family Planning Association of Greece, the law on abortion in Greece was liberalized in 1978 (Law No. 821 of 14 October). Under the new law, abortion was thereafter permitted for reasons of serious foetal abnormalities during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. It was also allowed in cases of a risk to the mental health of the mother, as determined by a psychiatrist on the staff of a public hospital, but only in the first 12 weeks of gestation."[31]
  13. ^ The sacred relics were housed in the Basilica of Saint Demetrios the Great Martyr. To celebrate this feast a Service was written by the renowned hymnographer Elder Gerasimos Mikragiannanitis. Eventually the relics were transferred to the Katholikon of the Monastery of Saint Theodora in the middle of Thessaloniki in a chapel surrounded by icons of the Saint's life.
  14. ^ (Greek) "Καταρχάς οι διπλωµατικές σχέσεις συνάπτονται µε την Αγία Έδρα κι όχι µε το Κράτος της Πόλης του Βατικανού. Τις διπλωµατικές σχέσεις δεν τις ζητά ποτέ η Αγία Έδρα αλλά τα κράτη προς αυτήν. Τέλος, πρέπει να σηµειωθεί ότι η ιδιότητα του νούντσιου είναι διττή: εκκλησιαστική και διπλωµατική. Για λόγους αρχής και για λόγους θεολογικούς, η Εκκλησία της Ελλάδος δεν αναγνώρισε ποτέ την παρουσία του Αποστολικού Αντινούντσιου στην Αθήνα. Σύµφωνα µε την ορθόδοξη εκκλησιολογία είναι απαράδεκτο Προκαθήµενος Εκκλησίας (όπως ο Πάπας που είναι Προκαθήµενος της καθολικής Εκκλησίας) να έχει και κοσµική εξουσία ως Αρχηγός Κράτους και κατ’ επέκταση είναι αδιανόητο να έχει πρέσβεις. Βέβαια για λόγους αβρότητας ή ειδικούς λόγους, κατά περίπτωση, οι αντινούντσιοι επισκέφθηκαν τους Αρχιεπισκόπους Αθηνών και πάσης Ελλάδος, αλλά δεν είχαν ποτέ επίσηµες επαφές µε την Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία της χώρας."[35]
  15. ^ See:
    • S. Kementzentzidis. The Blessed Elder Philotheos Zervakos. Transl. by Palis and Chalice. Thessaloniki, 1986.
    • C. Cavarnos. Blessed Elder Philotheos Zervakos. Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, Belmont MA 1993. ISBN 0-914744-93-3
  16. ^ "..."Orthodoxy is not one of the churches, but The Church herself. She has preserved precisely and authentically the teaching of Christ in its pristine splendor and in all its purity. Over and above a simple, unbroken historical continuity and consistency there exists in her a spiritual and ontological authen­ticity. The same Faith, the same Spirit, the same life. It is this which constitutes the distinguishing feature of Orthodoxy and which justi­fies her claim that she is and remains The Church" (Episkepsis, #227, 15 March 1980)...From the Orthodox point of view there is no justification for Optimism in regard to the dialogue, and for this reason no haste should be exhibited concerning it. The Roman Catholics are pressing the dialogue, hoping to strengthen themselves by annexing Orthodoxy to themselves, for they are confronted by very powerful internal disturbances and crises, as is well known. The number of former Ro­man Catholics who have converted to Orthodoxy also disturbs them. But Orthodoxy has no reason to hasten towards dialogue since the papists remain so obdurate and immovable as regards infallibility, uniatism, and the rest of their pernicious teachings. Hastening the dialogue under such conditions is equivalent to spiri­tual suicide for the Orthodox."[39]
  17. ^ "The five accents – three stress and two initial vowel aspirates – have been reduced, by a bill voted through parliament in mid-January, to just one, used to mark the stress on words of two syllables or more. According to Education Minister Eleftherios Veryvakis, the introduction of the monotonic system – already in use by most of Greece's newspapers – will "encourage a love of literature" and substantially reduce the printing costs of school books. At the same time, it will save students and teachers an estimated 6,000 grammar-lesson hours a year...The Government is also pressing ahead with legislation to introduce civil marriage in place of the compulsory religious marriage ceremony – a move which, along with changes in the family law code designed to give women equal rights, spells anathema to the conservative Greek Orthodox Church."[45]
  18. ^ "A third round of talks between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches ended Friday in disagreement over the ways to resolve the disputes that have divided them for more than 900 years. The dialogue, started in 1980 and held once every two years, focused on theological differences over the nature of the Christian Church's holy mysteries, according to a spokesman for the Orthodox Academy of Kolymbari on this southern Greek island. The spokesman said Dutch Cardinal Johannes Willebrands of the Vatican and Greek Orthodox Archbishop Stylianos of Australia led the talks over the relative importance of baptism, anointment and the eucharist to Christianity."[48]
  19. ^ Greorgios I. Mantzaridis is one of the foremost Greek Orthodox theologians today. Born in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1935, he is Professor of Ethics and Sociology of Christianity at the Theological School of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki. Professor Mantzaridis is the author of numerous books, many of which have been translated into several languages. His main works available in English include "The Deification of Man" (1984) and "Orthodox Spiritual Life" (1994). His textbooks on "Christian Ethics" and "Sociology of Christianity" are considered by many Orthodox scholars to be classics in their fields.
  20. ^ See:
    • Elder Paisios of Mount Athos. Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian. Transl. by the Holy Monastery "Evangelist John the Theologian", Souroti, Thessaloniki, Greece. 2001.
    • (Greek) Μοναχού Παϊσίου Αγιορείτου. Ὁ Ἂγιος Ἀρσένιος ὁ Καππαδόκης. Εκδόσεις Ιερού Ησυχαστηρίου Μοναζουσών «Ευαγγελιστής Ιωάννης ο Θεολόγος», Σουρωτή Θεσσαλονίκης, 1991.
  21. ^ "His most dramatic clash came in the mid-1980s when late Socialist Premier Andreas Papandreou tried to expropriate the Church's vast land holdings. Seraphim eventually won the battle and in retaliation excommunicated seven government officials."[53]
  22. ^ From antiquity the Orthodox Church has celebrated with special liturgical joy the occurrence when Pascha falls on 25 March (Old Style) - the Feast of the Annunciation, calling it "Kyriopascha," "the Lord's Pascha". It was precisely on the coincidence of the Feasts of the Annunciation and Pascha on 25 March 1821 (Old Style), that Greece challenged the Turkish Yoke. Kyriopascha has also manifested its miraculous Grace to our own generation by its most recent occurrence in 1991, the year of the demise of Communism in Russia, a demise which, furthermore, was finalized by a last, desperate gasp in the form of an abortive Communist coup thwarted on 6 August (Old Style)–the Feast of the Transfiguration. The last Kyriopascha on the Julian calendar was in 1991; the next will be in 2075, 2086 and 2159. The last Kyriopascha on the Gregorian Calendar was in 1951, and the next will be in 2035, 2046 and 2103.
  23. ^ "AN unprecedented summit of world Orthodox leaders has ended with a strong attack on the Vatican, harming chances of an early improvement in the deeply troubled relations between the two Christian Church groups. Closing their meeting in Istanbul, the 12 spiritual heads of Eastern Christianity said attempts by Roman Catholics to proselytise in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union had inflicted a "most severe wound on the dialogue between the Churches which will be difficult to heal". The leaders said: "Traditional Orthodox countries have been considered 'missionary territories' [by the Vatican] and proselytism is practised with all the methods that have been condemned and rejected for decades by all Christians"."[66]
  24. ^ Their ranking to the chorus of the Saints was formally announced in Encyclical 2556, of 5 July 1993, of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece ((Greek) Εγκύκλιος 2556 της 5ης Ιουλίου 1993 της Ιεράς Συνόδου της Εκκλησίας της Ελλάδος).[70]
  25. ^ Born in Constantinople 2/15 October 1897. Passed from this world on 28 March 1992. Spiritual daughter to Fr. Amphilochios Makris the Elder.
  26. ^ St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery (Florence, Arizona) was founded in 1995 by six Athonite monks along with Elder Ephraim, former abbot of Philotheou monastery on Mount Athos, with the blessings of Metropolitan Anthony (Gergiannakis) of San Francisco.[80][81]
  27. ^ "The Greek Government complied with decision No. 143/1996/762/963 of 16-12-1997 of the European Court of Human Rights about the legal entity of the Catholic establishments in Greece. Law 2731/5.7.1999 was amended with the addition of an article no. 33, which stipulates: "the legal entities that have been maintained in effect by virtue of article 13 of the Introductory Law of the Civil Code shall include those establishments of the Catholic Church of Greece that were created or have been in operation prior to 23/2/1946." February 23, 1946, was the date when the Greek Civil Code came into effect."[87]
  28. ^ The visit aimed at restoring ties between Athens and the Patriarchate, which had been marred by the refusal of Seraphim to let the Ecumenical Patriarchate open an office in Athens. The Primate of Greece, who replaced Seraphim after his death, was also due to ask the Patriarch's permission to install an office of the Greek Orthodox Church in Brussels.[90]
  29. ^ (Greek) Το Γραφείο της Αντιπροσωπείας της Εκκλησίας της Ελλάδος βρίσκεται στις Βρυξέλλες και λειτουργεί από το έτος 1998, είναι υπηρεσία της Ιεράς Συνόδου της Αγιωτάτης Εκκλησίας της Ελλάδος στο εξωτερικό και στεγάζεται σε ιδιόκτητο κτήριο που εγκαινιάσθηκε στις 4 Οκτωβρίου 2003 από τον Μακαριώτατο Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αθηνών και Πάσης Ελλάδος κ.κ. Χριστόδουλο.[91]
  30. ^ The Archimandrite Vasileios Gontikakis, who was abbot of Stavronikita for twenty years and since 1990 has been abbot of Iveron, is generally recognized as the most representative spokesman of the monastic renewal on Mt. Athos. His books - Hymn of Entry, Abba Isaac the Syrian, The Parable of the Prodigal, Theological Commentary on the Iconography of the Monastery of Stavronikita - have been translated and reprinted many times. They are written in a theological style totally new in Greece, reflecting the immediacy of real experience. Gontikakis is the great witness to "Philokalian" spirituality.[96]
  31. ^ See: (Greek) Πρωτοπρεσβύτερος Θεόδωρος Ζήσης. Βικιπαίδεια. (Greek Wikipedia).
  32. ^ The church took the unprecedented step of organizing the collection of signatures demanding that a referendum be held on the issue of the new identity cards and their mention of religion. The collection of signatures dragged on for several months, well into 2001. In the end, the church claimed to have collected over three million signatures.[46]
  33. ^ "The emergence of an official office, the 'Representation of the Church of Greece' to the European Union, is a crucial landmark in the Europeanization process of the OCG, which reflects the aspiration of the latter to participate in the European process. It is a service abroad of the Holy Synod designed to represent the OCG in the EU."[112]
  34. ^ "THE HORRIFIC event of the Fall itself falls into the domain of the unreachable judgments of the Wisdom of God, which transcend human understanding, represents the open wound of the Orthodox Christian conscience, but it is also a confirmation of the eternal truth, that the "image of this world" is passing, while at the same time a confirmation of the indestructibility of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, according to the promise of Christ. REMEMBERING, therefore, the Fall of Constantinople, we venerate the wounds of the Crucified Lord and confirm ourselves in the power of His Resurrection, witnessing before all peoples Him as the Stone, which the builders rejected and reject, and He has become the "Cornerstone, and this is marvelous in our eyes". In that name we offer brotherly veneration to Your Beatitude and to all the participants in the convocation marking the 550th Anniversary of the Fall of Constantinople, greeting you with the joyous Paschal greeting: "CHRIST IS RISEN!"[113]
  35. ^ "The Common Declaration on Mount Athos attached to the Treaty of entry of Greece to the EEC (1 January 1981) recognises the special status of Mount Athos as this is defined in article 105 of the Greek Constitution. Consequently, EU takes into consideration this status and particularly on matters of taxation exemption and rights of installation."[116]
  36. ^ The Greek church has since 1928 had administrative, but not titular, control over several dioceses in northern Greece – including Thessaloniki.[117]
  37. ^ The Holy Synod decided that women could be promoted to the diaconate only in remote monasteries and at the discretion of individual bishops...The document does not use the word ordination, but specifically allows bishops to consecrate (kathosiosi) senior nuns in monasteries of their eparchies. But bishops who choose to promote women to the diaconate have only the ancient Byzantine liturgy that performs the same cheirotonia, laying on of hands, for deaconesses as in each major order: bishop, priest and deacon. Even so, some (mostly Western) scholars have argued that the historical ordination of women deacons was not a cheirotonia, or ordination to major orders, but a cheirothesia, a blessing that signifies installation to a minor order.[125]
  38. ^ "Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is a favorite target of the ultra-right Nationalist Movement Party (Milliyetci Hareket Partisi: MHP), also known as "Grey Wolves", and of other extreme Islamic organizations. The nationalist organization Noel Baba, a branch of the Grey Wolves, claims that it has accumulated more than five-million signatures for the withdrawal of the Ecumenical Patriarch from Constantinople. Further, Noel Baba Foundation and Peace Council Chairman, Muammer Karabulut, and the General Secretary of the Union of Public Office Employees in Turkey, who is a member of the organization, promoted the issue of the withdrawal of the Ecumenical Patriarch from Constantinople and continue to present the petition signatures to the President of Turkey, Ahmet Necdet Sezer (from May 2000)."[131]
  39. ^ After a private lunch with the pontiff, Christodoulos was expected later Thursday to receive a papal gift of two metal links from the chain believed to have bound the Apostle Paul prior to his execution by the Romans.[136]
  40. ^ The infamous school history textbook for 11-year-olds was finally withdrawn by Greece's new education minister Evripides Stylianides in 2007. Supporters of the textbook denounced its withdrawal as being due to 'nationalism and religious fundamentalism', however Greece's Orthodox Church leader and academics correctly identified it as an attempt to rewrite Greek history to make it 'more inclusive', in which pivotal events in Greek history – such as the Greek War of Independence and the role of the Church in the uprising, the burning of Smyrna (1922), the Istanbul Pogrom (1955), the Cypriot campaign for enosis and the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus – were omitted or glossed over. Abp. Christodoulos welcomed the news, stating: "The Church was first...to resist this distortion by the doubters of historical facts."[143]
  41. ^ "On 9 January 2007, the ECHR issued a judgement condemning Turkey for violation of article 1 of Additional Protocol 1 of the European Convention On Human Rights (protection of property), and called upon Turkey, within three months of the day on which the Courts judgement becomes final, either to return the property to its legitimate owners or pay damages in the amount of 890,000 and 20,000 for costs and expenses. The Court took its final decision on 9 April 2007, with which Turkey is under an obligation to comply by 9 July 2007. This decision is of particular importance, mainly because it condemns a decades-long Turkish practice and the relevant court decision of 1974, based on which minority religious foundations are not recognised as the owners of real estate obtained after 1936."[150]
  42. ^ In 2007, the International Association of Genocide Scholars passed a resolution that "The Ottoman campaign against Christian minorities of the Empire between 1914 and 1923 constituted a genocide against Armenians, Assyrians, and Pontian and Anatolian Greeks." The vote in favor was 83%.[152]
    "WHEREAS the denial of genocide is widely recognized as the final stage of genocide, enshrining impunity for the perpetrators of genocide, and demonstrably paving the way for future genocides;
    WHEREAS the Ottoman genocide against minority populations during and following the First World War is usually depicted as a genocide against Armenians alone, with little recognition of the qualitatively similar genocides against other Christian minorities of the Ottoman Empire;
    BE IT RESOLVED that it is the conviction of the International Association of Genocide Scholars that the Ottoman campaign against Christian minorities of the Empire between 1914 and 1923 constituted a genocide against Armenians, Assyrians, and Pontian and Anatolian Greeks.
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Association calls upon the government of Turkey to acknowledge the genocides against these populations, to issue a formal apology, and to take prompt and meaningful steps toward restitution."[153][154][155]
  43. ^ The town of Argos had launched a search for the remains of its own Saint Peter, who was a 10th-century local bishop, 17 years ago, the current bishop told AFP. "We had looked everywhere for the relics, in Venice and the Vatican, before we finally found them in a monastery chapel in Rome", bishop Iakovos said. The chapel belongs to a Spanish order of monks, whose prior Renato Salvatore had no objection to returning the relics. The remains of Saint Peter of Argos had been removed to Rome in the 15th century during the occupation of the Peloponnese by the Franks.[167]
  44. ^ During the opening ceremony the Ambassadors of several Islamic states were present, along with a notable delegation of Imams related to the Muslim Brotherhood from across Europe and several Islamic NGO's from all over the world. The center has a 2.000 Sq. meters space and also serves as a prayer establishment, thus Athens has already a Mosque, albeit not officially know as such.[168]
  45. ^ The Ecumenical Patriarchate has filed more than two dozen cases with the ECHR to recover some of the thousands of properties it has lost.
  46. ^ In May 2010 Turkey sent a letter to the patriarch authorizing the Divine Liturgy to be celebrated here once a year on 15 August, in a gradual loosening of restrictions on religious expression. The gesture appeared aimed at Turkey's own Greek Orthodox minority, thought today to number around 2,000 people. In a similar gesture to Turkey's Armenian minority, Ankara also authorized mass to be celebrated in September at the museum-church of Akdamar, in the eastern Van province. Turkey's government is seeking to improve the lot of ethnic and religious minorities in line with its bid to join the European Union. Activists say the change is too slow. A key Orthodox Christian demand is the reopening of the Theological School of Halki near Istanbul.[181]
  47. ^ "C. Submissions of the third-party interveners"
    "1. The Governments of Armenia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Russian Federation, Greece, Lithuania, Malta and the Republic of San Marino"
    "47. In their joint observations submitted at the hearing, the Governments of Armenia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Russian Federation, Greece, Lithuania, Malta and the Republic of San Marino indicated that in their view the Chamber's reasoning had been based on a misunderstanding of the concept of “neutrality”, which the Chamber had confused with “secularism”. They pointed out that there was a huge diversity of Church-State arrangements in Europe and that more than half the population of Europe lived in non-secular States. They added that State symbols inevitably had a place in state education and that many of these had a religious origin, the Cross – which was both a national and a religious symbol – being the most visible example. In their view, in non-secular European States the presence of religious symbols in the public space was widely tolerated by the secular population as part of national identity. States should not have to divest themselves of part of their cultural identity simply because that identity was of religious origin. The position adopted by the Chamber was not an expression of the pluralism manifest in the Convention system, but an expression of the values of a secular State. To extend it to the whole of Europe would represent the “Americanisation” of Europe in that a single and unique rule and a rigid separation of Church and State would be binding on everyone.
    In their submission, favouring secularism was a political position that, whilst respectable, was not neutral. Accordingly, in the educational sphere a State that supported the secular as opposed to the religious was not being neutral. Similarly, removing crucifixes from classrooms where they had always been would not be devoid of educational consequences. In reality, whether the State opted to allow or prohibit the presence of crucifixes in classrooms, the important factor was the degree to which the curriculum contextualised and taught children tolerance and pluralism.
    The intervening Governments acknowledged that there might be circumstances where the arrangements by the State were unacceptable. The burden of proof should remain on the individual, however, and the Court should intervene only in extreme cases."[183]
  48. ^ "The newly aggressive atheism promoted by the likes of Professor Richard Dawkins (like Sir Julius (Huxley), an evolutionary biologist) and the National Secular Society makes the mistake of thinking that freedom of religion and freedom from religion require secularism. But they are not the same thing; secularism is optional, but freedom to practise any religion, or none, is a human right (something the European Court of Human Rights upheld, incidentally, in the case of Lautsi v. Italy last year). Whether or not one is religious, these tiresome attempts to marginalise Christianity ought to be resisted."[186]
  49. ^ Metropolitan Paisios of Leros and Kalymnos was immediately notified of this and came to the church to see for himself. He told the people that God sends these signs in order to draw His people closer to Him. Thousands of clergy and faithful have come to the church to see this miracle in the middle of Great Lent. It was originally seen by women who were in the church chanting the lamentations to the Virgin Mary. When the image appeared the oil candle above the icon began to move, though the others stood still.[187]
  50. ^ The subcommittee also heard the demands of Turkey's Assyrian Christian community, represented by Kuryakos Ergün, the head of the Syriac Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation.
  51. ^ The church said the ostensible drop was recorded because this year's survey did not make it mandatory for respondents to state their religion.[196]
  52. ^ The relics were translated to Moscow on 11 June 2012, and were given to Archbishop Arseniy of Istra, who took them to the Zachatievsky monastery (Conception Convent), where they were put up for veneration.[197]
  53. ^ “We Greeks are experiencing a peculiar war. I feel we are under occupation, our sovereignty is on the wane and we are the victims of all-out usury,” Ieronymos said in an interview with Skai Television.[198]
  54. ^ The law prohibits offenses against "religious peace," including blasphemy and religious insult. Blasphemy cases can be brought before civil and criminal courts, and in some cases civil courts issue orders to prevent the presentation of art or media deemed blasphemous in advance of their public release. The law also allows any prosecutor to order the seizure of publications that offend Christianity or any other religion. In this case, an Athens prosecutor pressed charges, but no trial date was set. The theater cancelled performances of the play a few days after its October premiere due to violent protests by some Greek Orthodox priests and Golden Dawn supporters. Several Golden Dawn members of parliament blocked the entrance of the theater and clashed with police on opening night.[12]
  55. ^ "We are always by your side, I think of Greek people every day," said Kirill I of Moscow, who is paying an official visit to Greece, the first such visit of a Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church in 21 years.[202] On Monday 3 June Patriarch Kirill had Greece's highest honor confirmed on him, receiving the medal of the Grand Cross of the Order of Honour from Greek President Karolos Papoulias.[203]
  56. ^ (Greek) "Ἰδιαιτέρως πρέπει νά τονισθεῖ ὅτι πηγή καί μήτρα τοῦ Οἰκουμενισμοῦ τυγχάνει ἡ Μασωνία, πού προωθεῖ δι’ αὐτοῦ τήν παγκόσμια θρησκεία τοῦ Ἐωσφορισμοῦ, ὅπως καί τῆς Μασωνίας πηγή καί μήτρα εἶναι ὁ φρικώδης διεθνής Σιωνισμός. Ὑπάρχει ἕνα προκαθορισμένο σχέδιο ἑνώσεως, πού ὁδηγεῖ στήν διαμυστηριακή κοινωνία (intercommunion) πασῶν τῶν αἱρέσεων καί τῶν θρησκειῶν, στήν ἐπιβολή τῆς πανθρησκείας καί τό ὁποῖο ἀποτελεῖται ἀπό τρεῖς φάσεις. Ἡ πρώτη φάση τοῦ σχεδίου ἑνώσεως εἶναι ἡ ἕνωση ὅλων τῶν χριστιανικῶν ὁμολογιῶν, δηλ. ὁ διαχριστιανικός οἰκουμενισμός. Ἡ δεύτερη φάση εἶναι ἡ ἕνωση ὅλων τῶν θρησκειῶν, δηλ. ὁ διαθρησκειακός οἰκουμενισμός καί ἡ τρίτη φάση εἶναι ἡ ἕνωση ὅλων τῶν ὁμολογιῶν καί τῶν θρησκειῶν, δηλ. ἡ ἐπιβολή τῆς πανθρησκείας, μέ ἀρχηγό τόν αἱρεσιάρχη Πάπα τῆς Ρώμης, ὁ ὁποῖος θά παραδώσει τήν παγκόσμια ἐξουσία στόν Ἀντίχριστο."[206]
  57. ^ Greece's Orthodox church objected to scrapping the Sunday holiday, saying this day should be strictly reserved for rest and religious duties. "Sunday is dedicated to God. Sunday should be a holiday to give Christians the chance to worship their God and rest after a week-long labour," the Holy Synod, the Greek church's governing body has said.[211] Under the new law, shops of up to 250 square meters could open seven Sundays a year - during Christmas, Easter and sales periods. Under certain location criteria local administration heads can extend the number to a total of 53 Sundays especially for tourist areas.[209]
  58. ^ Meletios of Ypseni (in Rhodes), also known as Meletios of Lardos.
  59. ^ It is the first time the relics left Greece in more than 500 years.[218]
  60. ^ (Greek) "Τα Δώρα των Μάγων είναι ένα από τα λίγα κειμήλια, που συνδέονται με την επίγεια παρουσία του Χριστού και σχεδόν το μόνο που αφορά τη Γέννησή Του. Τα δώρα μετέφερε στη Ρωσία ο Καθηγούμενος της Ιεράς Μονής Αγίου Παύλου του Αγίου Όρους, Αρχιμ. Παρθένιος με μοναχούς της Μονής. Ο Ηγούμενος Παρθένιος παρέδωσε στον Πατριάρχη το ειδικό κιβώριο, το οποίο στη συνέχεια ο Πατριάρχης Κύριλλος τοποθέτησε στο κέντρο του Καθεδρικού Ναού."[217]
  61. ^ Nikolaos Sotiropoulos was born on April 15, 1934 in Palaiopirgos, in the Nafpaktia region of Greece. He received his degrees from the University of Athens as a Professor of Theology and Professor of Literature, with honors. He became the student and spiritual son of Metropolitan Augoustinos Kantiotes (1907-2010), the Bishop of the Holy Metropolis of Florina, Prespai, and Eordaia in northern Greece, and a defender of traditional Orthodoxy both in Greece and abroad. Sotiropoulos published many volumes, including Interpretation of the New Testament (ΕΡΜΗΝΕΙΑ ΚΑΙΝΗΣ ΔΙΑΘΗΚΗΣ), and Interpretation of the Acts of the Apostles (ΕΡΜΗΝΕΙΑ ΤΩΝ ΠΡΑΞΕΩΝ ΤΩΝ ΑΠΟΣΤΟΛΩΝ), as well as many others. He was a founder and director of the Orthodox missionary brotherhood "The Cross" ("O Stavros") for many years (which assumed the form of a brotherhood in 1966). He also went on speaking tours to address Hellenic communities throughout Europe, America, Canada and Australia. He was excommunicated for the rest of his life by the Holy Synod of Constantinople in July 1993, for openly criticizing Archbishop Stylianos (Harkianakis) of Australia in 1988, and for his "divisive" behaviour.[226][227] He died on August 28, 2014 in Patras. He was unmarried and did not have any direct descendants. His funeral was held on August 29, 2014, at the Monastery of the Entrance of the Virgin Mary, in the village of Myrtia in Aetolia-Acarnania, in the presence of the Bishops of Aetolia and Acarnania (Kosmas Papachristou), Piraeus (Seraphim Mentzenopoulos), Gortynos (Ieremias Foundas), and others.


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    • See: Orthodoxos Typos no 1057 du 7 janvier 1994.

Published works[edit]