Pope in Greece
- This news article glosses over the direct or indirect massacre of
millions of Orthodox Christians by Papal armed forces during the last
- Dear Fr Panagiotis,
If the Orthodox of Greece resent the visit of the Pope to their homeland
only because they were emotionally and materially injured in 1056 & 1204 (as
important as these episodes were), they will give the Church's opposition to
Papism the appearance of a personal quarrel.
The objection of the office of Pope is ecclesiological. It is unscripural
and unpatristic. The Pope is not the visible head of the Church (conceived as
a organism of whole and parts); rather each bishop is "the living icon of
Christ" and he is the visible head of his flock. He is the teacher of the
Faith and the President of the Eucharist. The bishop connects himself and his
flock to the Church in the past (time) and the present (space).
In a word, the Roman Catholic idea of the Church is heretical; it is an
offense to God, a perversion of the Christian revelation; and all the
theological dialogue in the universe will not change this fact --- and that
must the focus of the protest against his visit to Greece.
Fr. Panagiotes Carras wrote:
> This news article glosses over the direct or indirect massacre of
> millions of Orthodox Christians by Papal armed forces during the last
> 1,000 years.
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
> Subject: Pope in Greece
> Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2001 09:05:30 -0500
> From: Bishop Moses <bpmoses@...>
> Organization: Holy Orthodox Church in North America
> To: undisclosed-recipients:;
> Greek Church Awaits Pope Visit
> Updated 7:02 PM ET March 7, 2001
> By PATRICK QUINN, Associated Press Writer
> ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Greek Orthodox leaders paved
> the way Wednesday for a possible visit by Pope John
> Paul II, with a decision that could help mend centuries
> of friction between the two branches of Christianity.
> The church's 12-member governing body approved a
> visit by the pope. But the Holy Synod said opposition
> among some of its followers was "justified" and insisted
> any papal trip must be nothing more than a pilgrimage to
> biblical sites.
> And Greece's conservative clerical union predicted massive protests
> would greet John Paul, describing him as an "arch-heretic" and the
> "two-horned grotesque monster of Rome."
> The visit could come in early May as part of the pope's planned trip to
> Syria and Malta. The 80-year-old pontiff expressed interest in including
> Greece in order to follow the steps of the Apostle Paul.
> Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the pope welcomed the
> synod's decision and its "ecumenical meaning," a reference to ongoing
> reconciliation efforts between the churches.
> "Today's decision ... meets the expectations of the Holy Father and will
> be received with grateful sentiments," said Navarro-Valls. He said an
> announcement about the trip could come soon.
> The Greek government has invited the pope to visit as a head of state.
> But the Holy Synod's decision marks the agreement of the powerful
> Church of Greece, considered among the most conservative in Eastern
> The overture could be a first step toward healing the Great Schism that
> split the church into Orthodox and Roman Catholic branches nearly
> 1,000 years ago. But it faces opposition from conservative Greek
> Orthodox factions with strong anti-Vatican views.
> "Parish priests and the devout public wash their hands of anything that
> will happen during the visit," said the Rev. Efstathios Kollas, president
> of the clerical union, which represents about 8,000 parish priests.
> Holy Synod spokesman Metropolitan Efstathios said police and security
> services in Greece and at the Vatican have been warned about the
> possibility of problems.
> The Greek church last year rebuffed the pope, demanding an apology
> for what it considers a long history of Vatican-sponsored aggression and
> Much of the friction centers around the schism of 1054 and the conquest
> of the Orthodox-ruled Byzantine capital of Constantinople, now
> Istanbul, by the Crusaders in 1204.
> Another dispute is over the role of Eastern Rite Churches, which follow
> Orthodox traditions but are loyal to the pope. Some Orthodox
> clergymen claim the Vatican is using those churches to encroach on
> historically Orthodox lands.
> Greece's native-born population of 10.2 million includes only 50,000
> Catholics, but the country is also home to tens of thousands of Roman
> Catholic immigrants.