March 13, 2012

Announcement of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece On the Crisis

March 13, 2012

Read the announcement of the Synod of the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece as it was decided on the 8th of March:

In the person of each human being the Church sees the most honourable creature of God, for the salvation of which Christ offered His blood. By preserving like a precious treasure in Its spiritual Artophorion the Command of Christ that man should love his fellow man in deed, and with a sense of pastoral responsibility, the Church becomes actively involved in charitable works which also attend to the material needs of man. It does not do so for the purposes of ostentation but rather seizes every opportunity to express Its love of God’s image.

Apart from the fact that, only for the year 2011, the Holy Metropolitanates, the Holy Churches, the Holy Monasteries, and the Ecclesiastic Foundations paid all their legal tax contributions, which rose to the amount of 12,584,139.92€, a fact which is often passed over in silence, the almost 700 Ecclesiastic Foundations nationwide prove that the Shepherding Church heeds the suffering and the difficulties of people and strives to relieve them in any way possible.

No institution nor any organization other than the Church carries out such and so great a work. This work would be even greater, if the Church had not already offered almost the whole of Its property to the State or if the Church were free to exploit its real estate now taken up by it.

The social and charitable work of the Church is carried out within the framework of Orthodox anthropology. It does not consist merely in an offer of material goods for the sustenance of the body, but in a pastoral ministry to man as a whole.

While disapproving not only of the culture and practices which led to today’s multi-faceted crisis, for which we all bear a share of responsibility in selecting those in government, but also of those voices, wherever they may rise from, coming down upon the Greek people, the Church will not cease to pray, to perform the Divine Liturgy, to assist man spiritually and materially, and to seek cooperation with the State in relieving man’s problems.

Teaching, along with Saint John Chrysostom, that it is “money that does not let people be people but makes them behave like wild beasts and demons”, the Church invites everyone to self-criticism and repentance, to a rejection of the “religion of avarice”, and to a return to a life in accordance with the Gospels and to the love of the neighbour.

Finally, It believes and proclaims that courage and optimism, hope and faith, our mental and spiritual riches, constitute our main equipment in overcoming today’s impasses.

It is by means of the above and by our sense of honour that we as Orthodox Greeks confronted all difficulties of our lives in the past, too, and came out victorious from the diverse crises we went through.

It is by means of these that we shall be victorious once again !

The Holy Synod of the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece