On the occasion of the shameful events which are unfolding in the Monastery of the Holy Fathers in Chios, His Eminence, Metropolitan Gerontios of Piraeus and Salamis as the press representative of the Holy Synod made the following statement:
“It is tragic for one to find that in 2015 legal and police authorities of a democratic country, members of the European Union - by the mandate of the local Metropolitan of the State Church – have taken actions against a religious minority.
Before the body of the ever-memorable Archimandrite Ambrose could even be buried in Chios, Mark - the local State Church Metropolitan - has ordered the facilities of the Monastery to be sealed under the pretext of protecting the island's national treasures, according to news reports.
We ask, what legal basis motivated the court and police forces who sealed parts of the Monastery, and even attempted to seal the Holy Bema of its central church (Katholikon)? By what authority did the Metropolitan of the State Church enlist the civil authorities as cohorts against a Monastery which has belonged to the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians for nearly 100 years?
Once again, we Genuine Orthodox Christians behold the Greek State not only stand by idly while our religious freedoms are trampled upon, but even become the active agent of such a violation. At the time when the local ecclesiastical community mourns the loss of a great ecclesiastical figure, at a time when his body has not even been buried, the local State Church Metropolitan shamelessly attempts to seize the Monastery by arousing public sentiment...simply because he is able.
We call upon the Minister of Justice and the Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court to restore order.
How long will the Genuine Orthodox Christians be treated as second class citizens? Must we become Muslims in order to obtain the right to exercise our religious freedom?”
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The Patriarchal Encyclical of 1920 foresaw a series of steps toward the “union of the Churches,” of which the first was the change of the calendar for the simultaneous celebration of feast days by all the “Churches.” The content of the encyclical was kept secret from the faithful and only after a few years became known. Read more...
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