Κυριακή, 20 Μαρτίου 2011

Σάββατο, 19 Μαρτίου 2011

Εγκύκλιος περί Κάρτας Πολίτη


Ἀριθμός Πρωτ. γ- 1433

ΕΓΚΥΚΛΙΟΣ

Παντὶ τῷ πληρώματι τῆς Ἐκκλησίας

«Ἔφθασε καιρός, ἡ των πνευματικῶν ἀγώνων ἀρχή, ἡ κατὰ τῶν δαιμόνων νίκη, ἡ πάνοπλος ἐγκράτεια, ἡ τῶν Ἀγγέλων εὐπρέπεια, ἡ πρὸς Θεὸν παῤῥησία.»




Τέκνα ἐν Κυρίῳ ἀγαπητά καὶ περιπόθητα,



Ἐπ’ εὐκαιρίᾳ τῆς ἐνάρξεως τῆς Ἁγίας καὶ Μεγάλης Τεσσαρακοστῆς, ἡ Ἱερὰ Σὐνοδος ἀπευθύνεται πρὸς ἅπαντα τὰ μέλη τῆς γνησίας τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐν Ἑλλάδι Ἐκκλησίας, προτρέπουσα ἅπαντας νὰ ἀγωνισθοῦν τὸν καλόν ἀγῶνα τῆς ἀρετῆς. Ὁπλισμένοι διὰ τῆς προσευχῆς, ἐν συνδυασμῷ μετὰ τῆς νηστείας καὶ τῆς ἐλεημοσύνης δυνάμεθα να ὑπερνικήσωμεν κάθε πνευματικήν δυσκολίαν, ὅπως διδάσκει ἡ ἁγία μας Ἐκκλησία διὰ τῆς ὑμνολογίας:

«Ἀναλαβόντες τὴν πανοπλίαν τοῦ Σταυροῦ, τῷ ἐχθρῷ ἀντιμαχησώμεθα, ὡς τεῖχος ἄῤῥηκτον κατέχοντες τὴν Πίστιν, καὶ ὡς θώρακα τὴν προσευχήν, καὶ περικεφαλαίαν τὴν ἐλεημοσύνην, ἀντὶ μαχαίρας τὴν νηστείαν, ἥτις ἐκτέμνει ἀπὸ καρδίας πᾶσαν κακίαν. Ὁ ποιῶν ταῦτα, τὸν ἀληθινὸν κομίζεται στέφανον, παρὰ τοῦ Παμβασιλέως Χριστοῦ, ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῆς Κρίσεως».


Διὰ προσευχῆς καὶ νηστείας ἐνδυναμωνόμεθα πνευματικῶς καὶ ἐφελκύομεν τὴν χάριν τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος. Δι’ ἀγρυπνίας καὶ προσευχῆς οἱ κάτοικοι τῆς Καισαρείας ἀνέτρεψαν τὰ σχέδια τοῦ παραβάτου Αὐτοκράτορος. Διὰ νηστείας καὶ μετανοίας κατώρθωσαν οἱ Νινευΐται νὰ ἀποτρέψουν τὴν ἐπερχομένην κατ᾿ αὐτῶν καταστροφήν.


Κατά τόν ἔσχατον καιρόν, τὸ ποίμνιόν μας ἀνησυχεῖ ἀπὸ τὴν σχεδιαζομένην ἐπιβολὴν ὑπὸ τῆς Ἑλληνικῆς Κυβερνήσεως ἑνὸς τύπου ἠλεκτρονικῆς ταυτότητος, τῆς λεγομένης κάρτας τοῦ πολίτου. Ἡ Ἱερὰ Σύνοδος ἀντιμετωπίσασα τὸ ζήτημα μετὰ τῆς δεούσης σοβαρότητος, ἐζήτησε γνωμοδοτήσεις ἀπὸ εἰδήμονας τῆς πληροφορικῆς μέλη τῆς Ἐκκλησίας τῶν Γ.Ο.Χ., καὶ ἀνέμενε περισσοτέρας πληροφορίας ἐκ μέρους τῆς Κυβερνήσεως προκειμένου νὰ μορφώσῃ γνώμην.


Ἐκ τῶν δεδομένων τὰ ὁποῖα μέχρι στιγμῆς ἐτέθησαν ὑπ’ ὄψιν τῆς Ἱερᾶς Συνόδου, ἐγένετο σαφές ὅτι ἡ λεγομένη «κάρτα τοῦ πολίτου» δὲν θὰ περιέχῃ τὸν δυσώνυμον ἀριθμόν τοῦ Ἀντιχρίστου, οὔτε διὰ γραμμωτοῦ κώδικος, οὔτε δι᾿ ἑτέρας μορφῆς, τουλάχιστον κατά τὰς κυβερνητικάς ἐξαγγελίας. Οἱ ἡμέτεροι ἐπιστήμονες εἶναι εἰς θέσιν νὰ διαγνώσουν τοῦτο θετικῶς, ἐὰν ἐξετάσουν δεῖγμα τῆς «κάρτας». Ὅμως τοῦτο τὸ ὁποῖον ἐγένετο σαφές, εἶναι ὅτι ἡ νέα αὕτη «κάρτα» θὰ περιέχει «πλινθίον», δηλαδή μικροηλεκτρονικόν κύκλωμα τεχνολογίας ραδιοκυμάτων (R.F.I.D.), ἕν εἶδος μικροσκοπικοῦ πομποδέκτου. Δηλαδή τὰ δεδομένα εἰς ἠλεκτρονικήν μορφήν τὰ ὁποῖα θὰ περιέχωνται, θὰ εἶναι δυνατόν νὰ ἀναγινώσκονται ἐξ ἀποστάσεως, δίχως νὰ εἶναι ἀνάγκη νὰ ἔρχεται ἡ «κάρτα» εἰς ἐπαφήν μετὰ τοῦ μηχανήματος ἀναγνώσεως. Ἄν διέλθῃ ὁ κάτοχος αὐτῆς τῆς κάρτας πλησίον τοῦ καταλλήλου μηχανήματος ἀναγνώσεως, τὰ δεδομένα αὐτοῦ θὰ ἀναγινώσκονται δίχως ὁ κάτοχος νὰ τὸ ἀντιλαμβάνεται, πολλῷ μᾶλλον νὰ συγκατατίθηται εἰς αὐτό.


Τὰ ἀνωτέρῳ στοιχεῖα προξενοῦν εἰς ἡμᾶς ἀνησυχίαν ὅτι τὰ προσωπικά μας δεδομένα θὰ εἶναι δυνατόν νὰ γίνονται γνωστά καὶ παρά τήν θέλησίν μας εἰς ἀγνώστους οἱ ὁποῖοι θὰ διαθέτουν τὰ κατάλληλα μηχανήματα. Πιθανόν κακόβουλοι κάτοχοι τῆς καταλλήλου τεχνολογίας νὰ δύνανται ἀκόμη καὶ νὰ παραποιήσουν -ἐνδεχομένως- τὰ προσωπικά μας στοιχεῖα.




Ἐὰν μάλιστα ἡ «κάρτα τοῦ πολίτου» συνεννωθεῖ μετὰ τῆς λεγομένης «φοροκάρτας» εἰς τὴν ὁποίαν θὰ γίνεται ἠλεκτρονική καταγραφή τῶν συναλλαγῶν μας, «χάριν διευκολύνσεως» ἀντί τῆς συλλογῆς ἀποδείξεων κατὰ τὰς ἀγορᾶς διαφόρων ἀγαθῶν ἢ ὑπηρεσιῶν, τὸ ζήτημα γίνεται πλέον ἀνησυχητικόν.




Τοῦτο ὅμως, ἐνέχει τόν κίνδυνον τῆς δημιουργίας βάσεων δεδομένων διὰ τὴν καταγραφήν τῶν ἀγοραστικῶν μας προτιμήσεων καὶ, κατὰ συνέπειαν, τῶν γενικωτέρων ἀπόψεων καὶ φρονημάτων μας περὶ διαφόρων ζητημάτων. Ἐάν -ἐπί παραδείγματι- γνωρίζουν αἱ κρατικαί ἀρχαί τί ἐφημερίδας ἢ τίτλους βιβλίων προτιμᾶ κάποιος νὰ ἀναγινώσκει, γίνονται ἐμμέσως γνωστά καὶ τὰ πολιτικά του φρονήματα, καθὼς -ἴσως- καὶ αἱ κοινωνικαὶ καὶ θρησκευτικαί του πεποιθήσεις. Ἀκόμη ἡ ἠλεκτρονική καταγραφή τῆς ἀγορᾶς εἰσιτηρίων διὰ τὰ μέσα μεταφορᾶς καὶ καυσίμων διὰ τὰ ὀχήματά μας ἀπὸ πρατήρια κατὰ τὰς διαδρομάς, καθιστᾶ φανερήν εἰς τὰς ἀρχάς καὶ ὅσους δύνανται νὰ ὑποκλέψουν τὰ δεδομένα ταῦτα, κάθε μας κίνησιν. Καὶ τοῦτο διὰ νὰ περιορισθῶμεν εἰς δύο μόνον παραδείγματα.




Γεννᾶται, συνεπῶς, τὸ ἐρώτημα: ἐὰν ἡ κυβέρνησις πρὸ ἐτῶν ἀπηγόρευσε τὴν ἀναγραφήν τοῦ θρησκεύματος ἀπό τὰς ἀστυνομικάς ταυτότητας χάριν τῆς προστασίας τῶν «εὐαισθήτων προσωπικῶν δεδομένων» μας, πῶς τώρα θέλει νὰ ἐπιβάλλῃ τὴν ἠλεκτρονική καταγραφήν τόσων ἐπιπλέον στοιχείων; Ὡς ἐκ τούτου ἔχει ἐγερθεῖ καὶ ζήτημα ἀντισυνταγματικότητος τοῦ τοιούτου σχεδίου.




Ἐπιπλέον, ἡ κατασκευή τόσων ἑκατομμυρίων ἠλεκτρονικῶν καρτῶν διὰ τούς πολίτας (καὶ ἄλλων παρομοίων διὰ τοὺς μετανάστας, ὅπως σχεδιάζεται) καὶ τῶν εἰδικῶν ἠλεκτρονικῶν μηχανημάτων ἀναγνώσεως, θὰ κοστίσῃ εἰς τὴν κινδυνεύουσαν μὲ πτώχευσιν χώραν μας, ὑπέρογκα ποσά. Ταῦτα πάντα διὰ ποῖον ὄφελος; Μάλιστα δὲ τὴν στιγμήν κατὰ τὴν ὁποίαν εἰς ἄλλα κράτη (ὅπως εἰς τὸ Ἠνωμένον Βασίλειον) παρόμοια ἐγχειρήματα ἐματαιώθησαν;




Ἔπειτα ἀπό ὅλα ὅσα προανεφέρθησαν, ἡ Ἱερὰ ἡμῶν Σύνοδος θὰ ἐπιχειρήσῃ -ἐν συνεργασίᾳ καὶ μετ᾿ ἄλλων κοινωνικῶν φορέων- νὰ ἀποτρέψῃ τὸ τοιοῦτον ἐγχείρημα, ἢ τουλάχιστον νὰ ἐξευρεθῇ τρόπος ἐναλλακτικῆς ἐξυπηρετήσεως τῶν πολιτῶν οἱ ὁποῖοι δὲν θὰ ἐπιθυμοῦν τὴν ἠλεκτρονικήν των ἐξυπηρέτησιν. Διὰ τὴν ἐπιτυχίαν τοῦ σκοποῦ τούτου ἐπικαλούμεθα τὰς προσευχάς ὅλων, ἰδίως κατὰ τὰς ἡμέρας ταῦτας τῶν νηστειῶν. Ἀκόμη, ἡ Ἱερὰ ἡμῶν Σύνοδος προτρέπει τὰς κατά τόπους ἐνορίας νὰ ὀργανώσουν ἀγρυπνίας κατόπιν συνεννοήσεως τῶν Ἐφημερίων μετὰ τῶν Ἐπιτρόπων καὶ Ἱεροψαλτῶν τῶν Ναῶν.




Ἐπιπροσθέτως προτρέπωμεν τούς πιστούς ὅπως συμμετάσχουν εἰς τὴν προγραμματιζομένην ὑπό διαφόρων φορέων, διὰ τὴν Κυριακήν τῆς Σταυροπροσκυνήσεως, 14/27 Μαρτίου τρέχοντος ἔτους, εἰς τὰς 3.00μ.μ., εἰς τὸ Πεδίον τοῦ Ἄρεως, μὲ σκοπόν τὴν ἔκφρασιν τῆς ἀντιθέσεώς μας εἰς τὴν λεγομένην «κάρταν τοῦ πολίτου».
Ἀγαπητά, τέκνα ἐν Κυρίῳ,




Ἄς ἀξιοποιήσωμε τὸν καιρόν τῶν νηστειῶν, ὥστε διὰ προσευχῆς καὶ νηστείας καὶ διὰ τῆς ἐπιστροφῆς ἡμῶν πρὸς Κύριον νὰ ζητήσωμεν τὴν ἄνωθεν βοήθειαν διὰ τὴν ἀποτροπὴν τῶν σχεδίων καταστρατηγήσεως τῆς Θεοσδότου ἐλευθερίας μας.




«Τὸ στάδιον τῶν ἀρετῶν ἠνέωκται, οἱ βουλόμενοι ἀθλῆσαι εἰσέλθετε, ἀναζωσάμενοι τὸν καλὸν τῆς Νηστείας ἀγῶνα, οἱ γὰρ νομίμως ἀθλοῦντες, δικαίως στεφανοῦνται»




Ὅθεν, προσεπιδαψιλεύοντες πᾶσιν ὑμῖν τὰς εὐχάς καί εὐλογίας τῆς Ἱερᾶς ἡμῶν Συνόδου, εὐχόμεθα ὅπως διέλθῃτε τὸ πέλαγος τὴς Ἁγίας Τεσσαρακοστῆς ἐν ἡρεμίᾳ καὶ πνευματικῇ προκοπῇ, φθάσητε δὲ αἰσίως, ὡς εἰς ἀσφαλήν λιμένα, εἰς τὴν ἁγίαν τοῦ Πάσχα λαμπροφόρον ἑορτήν.






Ἐν ἔτει σωτηρίῳ 2011 τῇ 18ῃ Φεβρουαρίου / 3 ῃ Μαρτίου




Η ΙΕΡΑ ΣΥΝΟΔΟΣ




Ὁ Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος
† Ὁ Ἀθηνῶν ΚΑΛΛΙΝΙΚΟΣ






Τὰ Μέλη
† Ὁ Ἀττικῆς καὶ Διαυλείας ΑΚΑΚΙΟΣ
† Ὁ Θεσσαλονίκης καὶ Δημητριάδος ΜΑΞΙΜΟΣ
† Ὁ Λαρίσης καί Πλαταμῶνος ΑΘΑΝΑΣΙΟΣ
† Ὁ Εὐρίπου καὶ Εὐβοίας ΙΟΥΣΤΙΝΟΣ
† Ὁ Ἀμερικῆς ΠΑΥΛΟΣ
† Ὁ Πειραιῶς καὶ Σαλαμῖνος ΓΕΡΟΝΤΙΟΣ
† Ὁ Ἀττικῆς καὶ Βοιωτίας ΧΡΥΣΟΣΤΟΜΟΣ
† Ὁ Χριστιανουπόλεως ΓΡΗΓΟΡΙΟΣ
† Ὁ Μαραθῶνος ΦΩΤΙΟΣ
† Ὁ Βρεσθένης ΘΕΟΔΟΣΙΟΣ

Patriarchal Encyclical of 1920



 
PATRIARCHAL AND SYNODICAL
ENCYCLICAL OF 1920




"Unto the Churches of Christ everywhere" "Love one another earnestly from the heart."
(I Peter 1. 22)

 
Our own church holds that rapprochement between the various Christian Churches and fellowship between them is not excluded by the doctrinal differences which exist between them. In our opinion such a rapprochement is highly desirable and necessary. It would be useful in many ways for the real interest of each particular church and of the whole Christian body, and also for the preparation and advancement of that blessed union which will be completed in the future in accordance with the will of God. We therefore consider that the present time is most favorable for bringing this important question and studying it together.

Even if in this case, owing to antiquated prejudices, practices or pretensions, the difficulties which have so often jeopardized attempts at reunion in the past may arise or be brought up, nevertheless, in our view, since we are concerned at this initial stage only with contacts and rapprochement, these difficulties are of less importance. If there is good will and intention, they cannot and should not create an invincible and insuperable obstacle. Wherefore, considering such an endeavor to be both possible and timely especially in view of the hopeful establishment of the League of Nations we venture to express below in brief our thoughts and our opinion regarding the way in which we understand this rapprochement and contact and how we consider it to be realizable; we earnestly ask and invite the judgment and the opinion of the other sister churches in the East and of the venerable Christian churches in the West and everywhere in the world.

We believe that the two following measures would greatly contribute to the rapprochement ' which is so much to be desired and which would be so useful, and we believe that they would be both successful and fruitful:

First, we consider as necessary and indispensable the removal and abolition of all the mutual mistrust and bitterness between the different churches which arise from the tendency of some of them to entice and proselytize adherents of other confessions. For nobody ignores what is unfortunately happening today in many places, disturbing the internal peace of the churches, especially in the Exist. So many troubles and sufferings are caused by other Christians and great hatred and enemity are aroused, with such insignificant results, by this tendency of some to proselytize and entice the followers of other Christian confessions.

After this essential reestablishment of sincerity and confidence between the churches, we consider,

Secondly, that above all love should be rekindled and strengthened among the churches, so that they should no more consider one another as strangers and foreigners, but as relatives, and as being a part of the household of Christ and "fellow heirs, members of the same body and partakers of the promise of God in Christ" (Eph. 3. 6).

For if the different churches are inspired by love and place it before everything else in their judgments of others and their relationships with them, instead of increasing and widening the existing dissensions, they should be enabled to reduce and diminish them. By stirring up a right brotherly interest in the condition, the well-being and stability of the other churches; by readiness to take an interest in what is happening in those churches and to obtain a better knowledge of them,and by willingness to offer mutual aid and help, many good things will be achieved for the glory and the benefit both of themselves and of the Christian body. In our opinion, such a friendship and kindly disposition towards each other can be shown and demonstrated particularly in the following ways:

  1. By the acceptance of a uniform calendar for the celebration of the great Christian feasts at the same time by all the churches.
  2. By the exchange of brotherly letters on the occasion of the great feasts of the churches' year as is customary, and on other exceptional occasions.
  3. By close relationships between the representatives of all churches wherever they may be.
  4. By relationships between the theological schools and the professors of theology; by the exchange of theological and ecclesiastical reviews, and of other works published in each church.
  5. By exchanging students for further training between the seminaries of the different churches.
  6. By convoking pan-Christian conferences in order to examine questions of common interest to all the churches.
  7. By impartial and deeper historical study of doctrinal differences both by the seminaries and in books.
  8. By mutual respect for the customs and practices in different churches.
  9. By allowing each other the use of chapels and cemeteries for the funerals and burials of believers of other confessions dying in foreign lands.
  10. By the settlement of the question of mixed marriages between the confessions.
  11. Lastly, by wholehearted mutual assistance for the churches in their endeavors for religious advancement, charity and so on.

Such a sincere and close contact between the churches will be all the more useful and profitable for the whole body of the Church, because manifold dangers threaten not only particular churches, but all of them. These dangers attack the very foundations of the Christian faith and the essence of Christian life and society. For the terrible world war which has just finished brought to light many unhealthy symptoms in the life of the Christian peoples, and often revealed great lack of respect even for the elementary principles of justice and charity. Thus it worsened already existing wounds and opened other new ones of a more material kind, which demand the attention and care of all the churches. Alcoholism, which is increasing daily; the increase of unnecessary luxury under the pretext of bettering life and enjoying it; the voluptuousness and lust hardly covered by the cloak of freedom and emancipation of the flesh; the prevailing unchecked licentiousness and indecency in literature, painting, the theater, and in music, under the respectable name of the development of good taste and cultivation of fine art; the deification of wealth and the contempt of higher ideals; all these and the like, as they threaten the very essence of Christian societies are also timely topics requiring and indeed necessitating common study and cooperation by the Christian churches.

Finally, it is the duty of the churches which bear the sacred name of Christ not to forget or neglect any longer his new and great commandment of love. Nor should they continue to fall piteously behind the political authorities, who, truly applying the spirit of the Gospel and of the teaching of Christ, have under happy auspices already setup the so-called League of Nations in order to defend justice and cultivate charity and agreement between the nations. For all these reasons, being ourselves convinced of the necessity for establishing a contact and league (fellowship) 1 between the churches and believing that the other churches share our conviction as stated above, at least as a beginning we request each one of them to send us in reply a statement of its own judgment and opinion on this matter so that common agreement or resolution having been read, we may proceed together to its realization, and thus "speaking the truth in love; may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ; from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." (Eph.4: 15,16).
In the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the
month of January in the year of grace 1920.

Archbishop Chrysostomos' Biography


His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Athens and First-Hierarch of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece was born on 8 October 1920 in Erythrai (Kriekouki) of Megara, where he grew up as a young boy. Later he lived with his parents in the town of Lavrion in the province of Attica. While a student, he would frequent many churches and monasteries, growing fond of Byzantine music. Frequently, during the great holidays of the Orthodox calendar, he would travel from Lavrion to Erythrai in order to chant at his village’s church where the Genuine Orthodox would congregate to celebrate the divine services (typically without the presence of a priest, for they were small in number in comparison to the needs of the parishes). He completed his secondary education at the age of 17.

Fulfilling his father’s wish, he took the entrance examinations for the Evelpidōn Military Academy, planning to embark on a career in the military. However, he was afflicted by illness on account of which he abandoned the idea of a military career. He considered the illness a divine intervention that led to his enlistment in the army of the heavenly king and to the path of monasticism. That was the desire of his spiritual father, Bishop Matthew of Vresthena. Subsequently, he dedicated his time to recuperating and private study at his home during the period that coincided with the Greco-Italian War of 1940-1941 as well as the German occupation of Greece of 1941-1944.

Right after the liberation of Greece, he was tonsured at the Monastery of the Annunciation in Athikia, near Corinth, by the Archimandrite Kallistos Makris, later the Metropolitan of Corinth. During the Greek Civil War (1944-1949), the monastery was caught in the fighting between the opposing the sides and he was miraculously saved from death. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1947 by Bishop Germanos of the Cyclades of blessed memory, briefly living in the country on account of his illness while serving the faithful of Erythrai and Villia. He was tonsured into the Great Schema at the Monastery of the Virgin Kosmosōteira in 1948 by the ever-memorable Elder Theokletos Darademas.   

During the years 1951-1953, the new-calenderist Archbishop Spyridon Vlachos began a persecution of the Genuine Orthodox Christians. Our hierarchs were exiled. The churches were locked and our priests were captured and stripped of their cassocks, while paraded and mocked by the police. On the eve of the Annunciation in 1951, the ever-memorable Bishop Germanos of the Cyclades reposed in the Lord. Spyridon Vlachos forbade his ecclesiastic burial and, deeming himself a worthy successor of Caiaphas, he ordered that the body of the deceased be guarded by gendarmes at the Clinic of Saint Helen in the Athenian suburb of Sepolia (where he was transferred from jail while breathing his last) in order to prevent the reading of a burial service by a Genuine Orthodox priest. God, however, arranged otherwise. During the same period, the Archimandrite Chrysostomos Kioussis was secretly in hiding to avoid capture and stripping by the police, and celebrated the Divine Liturgy in country chapels and in the houses of faithful Christians that had been transformed into catacombs, moving about only at night with great caution. In March of 1951, in one of those catacombs, he celebrated the Vigil of the Annunciation of the Theotokos along with the ever-memorable Archmandrite Petros Astyfides (later, Bishop of Astoria), deeply grieved by the news of the passing of the ever-memorable Bishop Germanos. A white cloth with paper icons pinned to it separated the Holy Altar from the rest of the room. Two tables assumed the role of the Altar and the Table of Oblation. They celebrated the liturgy in this manner when suddenly at two o’clock in the morning there was a knocking on the door! Fortunately, it was not the police but rather members of NE.O.S., the youth organization of the Genuine Orthodox Church, who were seeking a priest to secretly conduct a burial service, having convinced the gendarme guarding the body of Bishop Germanos to “look the other way.” While Fr. Petros continued the Vigil, Fr. Chrysostomos went to read the funeral of the reposed hierarch. As the funeral approached its end the gendarme, who was following the service piously, warned that the time had come for him to be relieved. As Fr. Chrysostomos and his entourage were heading for their car, the oncoming gendarmes spotted him. A chase ensued. However, Pericles, the priest’s experienced driver, drove through the maze of Athenian streets and managed to escape, thus keeping Fr. Chrysostomos from being captured and stripped.

In 1956, Fr. Chrysostomos assumed the responsibilities of the General Secretary of the Ecclesiastical Committee, which had assumed the leadership of our Church provisionally after the repose of the ever-memorable Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina, the First-Hierarch of the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christian of Greece from 1943 to 1955. At the direction of the Ecclesiasstical Committee, he traveled by train to Germany and France along with Fr. Akakios Pappas the Younger (the current Metropolitan of Attica and Diavlia) in order to establish contact with the Archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) in Western Europe, St. John (Maximovich), with the goal of consecrating Bishops for the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece. While agreeing to ordain clergy for the Genuine Orthodox of Greece, St. John referred them to Metropolitan Anastasy (Gribanovsky), the First-Hierarch of ROCOR from 1936 to 1965, regarding the question of episcopal ordinations. In 1957, Fr. Chrysostomos was chosen as a candidate for elevation to the episcopacy along with the priest-monks Akakios Pappas the Elder and Chrysostomos Naslimis by the Second Pan-Hellenic Clergy Conference of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece. He worked diligently for the consecration of the ever-memorable Archbishop Akakios Pappas the Elder and the restoration of the Greek episcopate by the ROCOR in 1960. After that, he founded the Monastery of the Most-Immaculate Virgin in Megara, serving the Church as secretary to the Synod.

In 1971, he was consecrated Metropolitan of Thessalonica, taking up additionally the pastorship of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. As Metropolitan of Thessalonica he dedicated all his energies to the organization of his Diocese until 1986, when he was elected Archbishop of Athens and First-Hierarch of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece—the office which he held until 6 September 2010 (o.s.) when he reposed in the Lord after divine liturgy on the feast of the miracle of the Archangel Michael at Chonai. 

It was during his pastorship that the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece was formally recognized by the Hellenic Republic, providing a legal framework for the preservation of Church properties and the recognition of the sacraments of the Genuine Orthodox Christians in the municipal registries—an act essential for the full participation of the Genuine Orthodox Christians in the civic life of Greece. Weathering many storms, he succeeded in the much-desired purification of the clergy of foreign and alien elements, which had found their way in the struggle of the Genuine Orthodox Church, renewing the body of the clergy with new episcopal consecrations in 1998, 1999, and 2000, and bringing previously separated brothers into the unity of the Church. It was his grace-filled, steady-handed piloting that provided for the peaceful stability, unity, and growth of the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians in Greece and abroad during the last decade of his reign. Archbishop Chrysostomos II will be remembered as a man of deep prayer and a clear-sighted and unfaltering helmsman that led the Church through times of storm and crisis and emerged leaving for his beloved Church a firm and steady foundation in Christ.    

On 8 June 1998 Archbishop Chrysostomos II was received by Constantinos Stephanopoulos, the President of the Hellenic Republic, becoming the first Archbishop of the Genuine Orthodox Christians to be received by a Greek Head of State.

May his memory be eternal!

Παρασκευή, 18 Μαρτίου 2011

The Office of Archbishop

The Office of Archbishop

On Tuesday September 22/October 5, 2010 the Holy Synod of the Genuine Orthodox Christians elected a new Archbishop. The announcement of the new Archbishop occurred in a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere amid fair procedures, to the rebuttal of the –anything but- pious desires of those outside the Church.

The new Primate of the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians is the fifth in line after the schism of the innovators in 1924 and the first convocation of the Holy Synod in 1935. The succession of Archbishops is: Germanos (Maurommates) of Demetrias (1935-39), Chrysostomos (Kabourides) formerly of Florina (1939-1955), Akakios (Pappas) of Talantion (1960-1963), Auxentios (Pastras) of Athens (1964-1985) and Chrysostomos (Kiouses) of Athens (1986-2010). All of the aforementioned hierarchs of the non-innovating Orthodox Church in Greece bore the title of “Archbishop of the G.O.C.” even though the first three did not bear the title “of Athens” for various reasons. For example, in the articles of Chrysostomos, formerly of Florina in “The Voice of Orthodoxy” as well as in his books in the frontispiece we read:

“By His Excellency the Archbishop of the Genuine Orthodox Christians, the former Metropolitan of Florina Chrysostomos Kabourides”.
The title of Archbishop in Greece means the leader of the Bishops, in other words the head of the Synod. The hierarchs of each nation (i.e. a broad geographic territory) are obliged to recognize the First-Hierarch as the head according to the 34th Apostolic Canon. The Apostolic Canon relates to the time during which the Metropolitan system was in force. The Bishops of the cities of each Roman eparchy recognized as the First-Hierarch among them the Bishop of the capital of the eparchy, the Metropolis who also bore the title “Metropolitan”. Later in the broader geographic territories of Europe, Africa and Asia (which made up the Roman “Ecumene”) the Bishops of the respective capitals, of Europe: Rome, of Africa: Alexandria, and of Asia; Antioch presided over the Metropolitans. Later Constantinople and Jerusalem were added during the Patriarchal system. The rise of the political importance of a city also meant for the respective diocese its rise in the ecclesiastical order. A characteristic example is that of Constantinople.

Today in Greece it is absolutely normal and canonical for the First-Hierarch of Greece to be the Bishop of Athens, hence the Archbishop. For this reason all of the Primates of the Church of the G.O.C. of Greece have borne the title of Archbishop and have had their seat in Athens. However, the first three did not bear the title of the city of Athens because at that time they had hoped that possibly the innovating State Church would return to the path of Tradition. These hopes disappeared during the 1960’s, so since then the Genuine Orthodox Christians began to organize themselves better, seriously bearing in mind these parameters. For this reason, Auxentios who was originally ordained as the Bishop of Gardikion later took the title “of Athens” and Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Thessaloniki was elected Archbishop of Athens.

Similar examples exist in ecclesiastical history. In Constantinople, for example, during the Arian period, while the Arians had their own Archbishop (and also the favor of the Arian-minded Emperor) the Orthodox elected another Archbishop of Constantinople. St Gregory himself was elected by the Orthodox flock of Constantinople and shepherded it as the Bishop of Sasima from 379 to 381, at which time at the first convocation of the 2nd Ecumenical Council he was named “of Constantinople”.

Today, when the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the New Calendar Church of Greece have been swallowed up by Ecumenism, the hierarchs of the Genuine Orthodox not only have the right but also an obligation to elect Orthodox Bishops in order to shepherd what remains of the Orthodox faithful of each ecclesiastical eparchy. The hierarchy of the Genuine Orthodox Christians has fulfilled this obligation by canonically electing Metropolitan Kallinikos of Achaia and all the Peloponnese the new Shepherd of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Athens. 
hotca.org

Πέμπτη, 3 Μαρτίου 2011

Ο θεσμός του Αρχιεπισκόπου



Τὴν Τρίτην 22-9/5-10-2010 ἡ Ἱερά Σύνοδος τῆς Ἐκκλησίας τῶν Γνησίων Ὀρθοδόξων Χριστιανῶν ἐξέλεξε νέον Ἀρχιεπίσκοπον. Ἡ ἀνάδειξις τοῦ νέου Ἀρχιεπισκόπου ἐγένετο ἐν μέσῳ κλίματος εἰρήνης καί συμπνοίας, μέσω ἀδιαβλήτων διαδικασιῶν, εἰς διάψευσιν των -κάθε ἄλλο παρὰ- εὐσεβῶν πόθων πολλῶν ἐκτός Ἐκκλησίας παραγόντων.
 
Ὁ νέος Προκαθήμενος τῆς Ἐκκλησίας τῶν Γνησίων Ὀρθοδόξων Χριστιανῶν εἶναι ὁ ἐκτος κατά σειράν, μετά τήν ἀπόσχισιν τῶν καινοτόμων τό 1924 και τήν πρώτην συγκρότησν τῆς Ἱερᾶς Συνόδου τό 1935, εἰς διαδοχήν τῶν Ἀρχιεπισκόπων: Δημητριάδος Γερμανοῦ Μαυρομμάτη (1935-1939), πρ. Φλωρίνης Χρυσοστόμου Καβουρίδου (1939-1955), Ταλαντίου Ἀκακίου Παππᾶ (1960-1963), Ἀθηνῶν Αὐξεντίου Πάστρα (1964-1985) καί Ἀθηνῶν Χρυσοστόμου Κιούση (1986-2010). Ἅπαντες οἱ προαναφερθέντες Πρωθιεράχαι τῆς ἀκαινοτομήτου Ὀρθοδόξου Ἐκκλησίας ἐν Ἑλλάδι ἔφερον τόν τίτλον τοῦ Ἀρχιεπισκόπου τῶν Γ.Ο.Χ. καίτοι οἱ τρεῖς πρῶτοι δέν ἔφερον τόν τίτλον τοῦ Ἀθηνῶν, ἕνεκα διαφόρων λόγων. Ἐπί παραδείγματι, εἰς τά ἄρθρα τοῦ πρ. Φλωρίνης εἰς τὴν «Φωνήν τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας» καθώς καί εἰς τά βιβλία του εἰς τήν προμετωπίδα ἀναγινώσκωμεν:

«ΤΟΥ ΠΑΝΙΕΡΩΤΑΤΟΥ ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΥ Τῆς Ἐκκλησίας τῶν Γνησίων Ὀρθοδόξων Χριστιανῶν, Μητροπολίτου Πρώην Φλωρίνης κ.κ. ΧΡΥΣΟΣΤΟΜΟΥ ΚΑΒΟΥΡΙΔΟΥ» .



Ὁ τῖτλος τοῦ Ἀρχιεπισκόπου ἐν Ἑλλάδι ἔχει τήν ἔννοιαν τοῦ Ἀρχηγοῦ τῶν Ἐπισκόπων, τοῦ ἐπικεφαλῆς, δηλαδή, τῆς Συνόδου. Ἀποτελεῖ ὑποχρέωσιν τῶν Ἀρχιερέων ἑκάστου Ἔθνους (μιᾶς εὐρυτέρας γεωγραφικῆς περιοχῆς) νά ἀναγνωρίζουν ὡς κεφαλήν τον  Πρῶτον μεταξύ τους κατά τό λδ΄ κανόνα τῶν Ἁγίων Ἀποστόλων. Ὁ ἀποστολικός κανών ἀναφέρεται εἰς τήν ἐποχήν κατά ὁποίαν ἴσχυε τό Μητροπολιτικόν σύστημα. Οἱ Ἐπίσκοποι τῶν πόλεων κάθε ρωμαϊκῆς Ἐπαρχίας ἀνεγνώριζον ὡς Πρῶτον μεταξύ των τόν Ἐπίσκοπον τῆς πρωτευούσης τῆς ἐπαρχίας, της Μητροπόλεως, ὁ ὁποῖος καί ὠνομάζετο Μητροπολίτης. Ἀργότερον εἰς τάς εὐρυτέρας γεωγραφικάς περιοχάς Εὐρώπης, Ἀφρικῆς καί Ἀσίας (αἱ ὁποῖαι συναπετέλουν την Ρωμαϊκήν «Οἰκουμένην») προεξῆρχον ὑπεράνω τῶν Μητροπολιτῶν οἱ Ἐπίσκοποι τῶν ἀντιστοίχων πρωτευουσῶν, τῆς μέν Εύρώπης ἡ Ρώμη, τῆς δέ Ἀφρικῆς ἡ Ἀλεξάνδρεια καὶ τῆς Ἀσίας ἡ Ἀντιόχεια. Ἀργότερον προσετέθησαν ἡ Κωνσταντινούπολις καί τά Ἱεροσόλυμα, κατὰ τό Πατριαρχικόν σύστημα. Η ἄνοδος τῆς πολιτικῆς σημασίας μιᾶς πόλεως ἐσήμαινε καὶ τὴν ἄνοδον κατά την ἐκκλησιαστικήν τάξιν τῆς ἀντιστοίχου Ἐπισκοπῆς. Χαρακτηριστικόν εἶναι τό παράδειγμα τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως.

Σήμερον, εἰς τόν Ἑλλαδικόν χῶρον εἶναι ἀπολύτως φυσιολογικόν καί κανονικόν ὁ Ἐπίσκοπος τῶν Ἀθηνῶν νά εἶναι ὁ Πρῶτος μεταξύ τῶν Ἐπισκόπων τοῦ Ἑλλαδικοῦ χώρου, ἄρα ὁ Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος. Διὰ τόν λόγον αὐτόν ἅπαντες οἱ προκαθήμενοι τῆς Ἐκκλησίας τῶν Γ.Ο.Χ. ἔφερον τόν τῖτλον τοῦ Ἀρχιεπισκόπου καί εἶχον τῆν ἕδραν ἐν Ἀθήναις. Οἱ τρεῖς πρῶτοι ὅμως δέν ἔφερον τὸν τῖτλον τῆς πόλεως τῶν Ἀθηνῶν καί τοῦτο διότι πιθανότατα ἐπεδίωκον καὶ προσεδόκουν τήν ἐπιστροφήν τῆς καινοτόμου κρατούσης Ἐκκλησίας εἰς τὴν ὁδόν τῶν παραδόσεων. Αἱ τοιαῦται ἐλπίδες ἐξέλιπον κατά τήν δεκαετίαν τοῦ ’60, ὁπότε πλέον οἱ Γ.Ο.Χ., ὤφειλον νὰ ὀργανωθοῦν καλύτερον λαμβάνοντες ὑπ’ ὄψιν σοβαρῶς τήν παράμετρον ταύτην. Διὰ τοῦτο, ὁ ἀρχικῶς χειροτονηθείς ὡς Ἐπίσκοπος Γαρδικίου Αὐξέντιος, προσέλαβε ἀργότερον τόν τῖτλον τοῦ Ἀθηνῶν, ἐνῶ ὁ ἀπό Θεσσαλονίκης Χρυσόστομος, ἐξελέγη ὡς Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀθηνῶν.



Παρόμοια παραδείγματα ὑπάρχουν εἰς τήν Ἐκκλησιαστικήν Ἱστορίαν. Εἰς τὴν Κωνσταντινούπολιν, ἐπί παραδείγματι, κατὰ τὴν διάρκειαν τῶν ἀρειανικῶν ἐρίδων, ἐνῶ οἱ Ἀρειανοί εἶχον ἰδικόν των Ἀρχιεπίσκοπον (ἔχοντος καί τὴν εὔνοιαν τοῦ ἀρειανόφρονος Αὐτοκράτορος) οἱ Ὀρθόδοξοι ἐξέλεγον ἕτερον Ὀρθόδοξον Ἀρχιεπίσκοπον Κωνσταντινουπόλεως. Ὁ Ἅγιος Γρηγόριος ὁ Θεολόγος μάλιστα ἐκλήθη ἀπό τό Ὀρθόδοξον ποίμνιον τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως καὶ διεποίμανε τοῦτο ὡς Ἐπίσκοπος Σασίμων ἀπό τό 379 ἕως τό 381, ὁπότε κατά τήν πρώτην συνεδρία τῆς Β΄Οἰκουμενικῆς Συνόδου ὠνομάσθη Κωνσταντινουπόλεως.

Σήμερον, ὅταν τό Πατριαρχεῖον Κωνσταντινουπόλεως καί ἡ νεοημερολογιτική Ἐκκλησία τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἔχουν καταποθεῖ ὑπὸ τοῦ Οἰκουμενισμοῦ, οἱ Ἀρχιερεῖς των Γνησίων Όρθοδόξων ἔχουν ὄχι μόνον δικαίωμα, ἀλλά καί ὑποχρέωσιν νὰ ἐκλέγουν Ὀρθοδόξους Ἐπισκόπους διὰ τὴν διαποίμανσιν τῶν ἐναπομεινάντων Ὀρθοδόξων πιστῶν ἑκάστης ἐκκλησιαστικῆς ἐπαρχίας. Τοῦτο το καθῆκον, λοιπόν, ἐκπληροῦσα ἡ Ἱεραρχία τῶν Γ.Ο.Χ. ἀνέδειξε ψήφοις κανονικαῖς τὸν νέον Ποιμενάρχην τῶν Γ.Ο.Χ. Ἀθηνῶν, τὸν ἀπό Ἀχαΐας καί πάσης Πελοποννήσου κ. Καλλίνικον.