January 11, 2016

Orthodox Christianity in Contemporary Europe

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

The adoption of so-called "same-sex civil partnership" [in Greece] has created serious problems for a society that is distancing itself from God.

Two trends can be observed in contemporary society, in terms of political systems. The first is so-called theocracy, when religious law is identified with political law, and the second trend is liberalization, when political law is completely unbound, becoming independent from religious law and is contrary to it.

While theocracy usually appears in countries where Islam prevails, extreme liberalism prevails in Western societies, especially in Europe where we Greeks live. Christianity in the West has totally secularized, which is why we see prevail an extreme liberalism and anti-Christianity, not only in society but also in its own Christian communities. When so-called "Christian confessions" accept gay marriage, then it urges every state to adopt laws in favor of such "partnerships". This is why we should not lose sight of the atmosphere within Europe.

Kostas Iordanides raised such a strand of this issue. In a related article (Kathimerini, 25-27 December 2015) he wrote that "societies of Western nations are guided at best by agnostic perceptions." Indeed, he claims that "it is not a coincidence that the so-called 'Constitution' of the European Union avoided any reference to the contribution of Christianity in European culture, the economic organization of society and art, instead setting as its starting point the Enlightenment, the principles of Rationalism, which only partially meet the needs of people."

Thus, the entire life of Europe is dominated by "agnostic perceptions" since the beginning of the Enlightenment and essentially Rationalism, namely concepts that prevailed for the most part in Pre-Socratic philosophy. The Pre-Socratic philosophers largely influenced modern European thought. This means that we live in, unfortunately, an "agnostic society with strong pagan tendencies."

The Nietzschean principle that "anything goes", within Europe, is what made St. Justin Popovich say that Europe is a "white demon", that is, it is white "due to the color of its skin" and "a demon because of the blackness of its soul." The Europe that has abandoned God remains a "corpse". That's why "in the essence of European civilization is werewolf fetishism," it is a "factory of idols."

Living in this situation we Orthodox need to make great efforts to offer Orthodox theology in such an agnostic, pagan, rational and "werewolf fetishism", which worships pleasure as a fetish, and that is a hellish landscape.

Source: Ekklesiastiki Paremvasi, "Ἡ σύγχρονη Εὐρώπη", December 2015. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.