March 26, 2010

The Philanthropy of the Church of Greece

The Presence of So Many Peoples Sacrifice Is a Ray of Hope, and a Source of Joy

by Monk Moses the Athonite
March 2010

There are still noble benefactors, philanthropic sponsors, modest givers of charity, and eager volunteers. Individualism, enrichment and fun times have not ruled everyone. We must refer to the positive in our society, so as to not be disappointed. Let us be optimistic and still have hope.

The Church of Greece, despite the criticism which it endures from various people, maintains numerous charities and is well organized for charitable services in parishes and cities. Daily it provides the needy throughout Greece with over 35,000 food dishes, among whom are the immigrants who have not received the necessary state care. The current property ownership of the church is to provide for its rich charity work.

The church now operates and maintains:

- 20 nurseries and kindergartens
- 84 homes for the elderly
- 13 hospitals for the chronically ill
- 30 different institutions
- 8 institutions for people with disabilities
- 54 camping areas
- 33 youth institutions
- 10 hospital clinics
- 6 hostels
- 36 orphanages/boarding schools
- 195 soup kitchens
- 44 schools of iconography
- 136 schools teaching Byzantine and European music
- 47 different schools
- 35 blood banks
- 1 home for the blind
- 13 school dormitories
- 7 mental health institutions

In 2009 the church gave an allowance for every third child in Thrace of 120,000 euros. Overall, the Church of Greece last year made sales for various charities the significant amount of 100,000,000 euros.

All this money was given by the faithful, the church-goers, philanthropists, famous and anonymous, rich and poor. Some from their surplus and some from the little they have. Everyone should be commended, especially the latter.

Christ blesses the widow in the Gospel for giving two worthless mites, because she gave it from her heart and from the little that she had. Christ loves the secret giver, as He makes clear in the Holy Gospel. Secrecy is essential to charity. Also, in no way should one offend, expose or shame in a superior manner the kindness of less fortunate givers.

In the scarcity of sincere love in our times, fortunately there are preserved people who spoil their leisure, their laziness, their carelessness, to offer a sweet smile to children and the elderly in several difficult positions.

The presence of so many peoples sacrifice is a ray of hope, and a source of joy and optimism.

Translated by John Sanidopoulos

See also the Encyclical of the Church of Greece Regarding the World Economic Crisis