Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries Ecumenism



The Reverend Metropolitan of Piraeus Seraphim responds to  an announcement by the Latin community regarding the Greek Elections

Issued by the Press and Public Relations Bureau

190 Themistocleous Street, Piraeus 18539, Phone +30 210 4514833 (εσωτ. 19) Fax +310 210 4528332

Source:  http://www.impantokratoros.gr/9B0863FB.el.aspx




Piraeus, 30th September 2009.


On the occasion of the announcement dated 24/9/2009 by the "Sacred Synod of the Roman Catholic Church of Greece" addressed to the Greek citizens of the Roman Catholic faith regarding their constitutional rights during the impending Elections on the 4th of October 2009, which announcement was published in its website (www.cen.gr), I am hereby expressing my intense protest and my profound distress at the continuing pathogenic stance of the Roman Catholic Community, which, through its representatives and despite its occasional "mea culpa" declarations, is concealing the truth and warping reality.

With this announcement, the Roman Catholic Hierarchy of Greece is essentially calumniating the legal order of the Hellenic state and by extension our Most Holy, Undivided Orthodox Catholic Church, which is supposedly uncomplainingly condoning the violation of human rights and  the religious equality per the Law in Greece.

In the 6th paragraph of the directions to the constituents of the Roman Catholic faith, it is made apparent by the announcement that those who are to be elected by them should:

«...secure for the Catholic Church of Greece what is self-evident:  its legal equality and the recognition of the legal character of its institutions according to Church Law, the way they are secured in all of the Countries of the European Union. In other words, to likewise give to the Greek Catholic citizens that which in our opinion is very rightly demanded by our Homeland regarding the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Orthodox Church of Turkey.

Ask your candidates whether they are willing to positively promote the solution especially of this serious problem, which has preoccupied the Catholic Church of Greece for so many years.

If so, then select those who, based on your conscience are ready as of the 5th of October 2009 - and who are reliant on the evangelical principles and the democratic spirit - to not make any distinctions between dogmas, colours and political parties, but to secure for all Greeks equal political and religious rights....»  

Our allegations regarding the inadmissible slandering of our Homeland are self-evident - as surmised from the above text of the announcement by the Roman Catholic Community - because it has been deliberately omitted therein, that within the Hellenic dominion, the State's democratic principles of justice are respected absolutely, and there are no distinctions between citizens on the basis of their religious beliefs or their racial descent. Quite the contrary. In fact, the principles of religious tolerance and respect for religious otherness prevail, even over public interest, and many times to the detriment of what is regarded constitutionally as the prevalent religion of Greece.

They are inadmissibly trying to create impressions by equating and paralleling their supposedly just request with the Greek State's request to transcend the tragic situation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople within the military-governed Kemalist Turkish State and its criminal behaviour towards the persecuted, decimated and the juridically hunted down fellow-Hellenes.

It is being artfully 'forgotten' that - according to theology and the canonical expectation of the first, common millennium of Christian life - the exact same honorary recognition was accorded to the Thrones of both the Old and the New Rome and as such, the religious community of the Roman Catholics in Greece cannot be compared to the Throne of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of New Rome-Constantinople.

What is it therefore that is actually being sought by the Hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Community in Greece?

Obviously, to create a legalized morph that is not foreseen by the legitimate order in Greece and Her already valid justice system. In Hellenic legislative reality the institution of a Natural Entity and Legal Entities and all citizens and carriers of the State are subject to that legitimate order. As such, Legal Entities under Public Law - as regards their legal relations - are the Undivided Orthodox Catholic Church of Greece, the religious communities of the Muslim faith and the Jewish community of the Jewish faith.  The Roman Catholic community has no desire to be incorporated in the prevailing legal order of Greece for the acquisition of the status of Legal Entity - either under public or private law - but is striving to acquire the status of a Sui Generis Legal Entity - a fact that they have very carefully NOT disclosed in their announcement, by means of the wording: 

«...Secure for the Catholic Church of Greece what is self-evident:  its legal equality and the recognition of the legal character of its institutions according to Church Law...»

This statement constitutes an outright insult, both towards the Hellenic State, by presenting it as supposedly having violated their legal rights, as well as towards our Most Holy Church, by presenting Her (albeit not mentioning this directly) as supposedly condoning such a violation.

When the legally nonexistent privilege of a "Sui Generis Legal Entity" is not accorded - either to the prevailing Church in Greece, or to anyone else - then for what reasons should this be accorded, as an exception only and a choice, to the Roman Catholic community of Greece, which has made it obvious in practice that it does not desire to become a Legal Entity under Public Law, because that would entail an obligatory publication of its official Charter in the Governmental Newspaper, submission to the control mechanisms of the Hellenic State, and become subject to the prevailing laws governing Legal Entities under Public Law?


+ Seraphim of Piraeus



Translation by: A. N.

Article published in English on: 1-10-2009.

Last update: 1-10-2009.