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18306Re: Russia's Dying Democracy

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  • David-Constantine Wright
    Oct 31, 2006
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      --- Fr. John Shaw wrote:

      >JRS: Stephen Brown seems to equate "democracy" with "law and order".
      >But in reality, "law and order" means that "democracy and freedom" are
      >restricted.

      Encyclical of Archbishop Demetrios of America on the Occasion of OXI
      Day - October 28, 2006

      Protocol 107/06

      October 28, 2006

      To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the
      Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of
      the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Order
      of St. Andrew, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos
      Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, the members of our
      Parishes and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America

      Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

      Once again we greet with joy the arrival of the Twenty-Eighth of
      October. As Greek Orthodox Christians, we know this day as "OXI Day," a
      reference to the defiant "NO" (or "OXI") that the Hellenic nation
      boldly proclaimed in 1940 to the demands of Mussolini to surrender to
      the dark forces of Fascism that were sweeping across Europe at that
      time. This day is important because of the example that the nation of
      Greece set for the rest of the world. Greece's defiance to the demands
      of a hostile fascist aggressor stood for the undeniable, moral claim
      that there are certain values in this world that are so precious and so
      sacred, that they cannot be compromised at any cost.

      These values are those of liberty and freedom. The Hellenic nation knew
      then, as the world knows now, that God out of His love for all
      humankind has bestowed liberty and freedom as inalienable rights to
      people of every culture, race, and religion the world over. The right
      to live in conditions of liberty and freedom represents the product of
      a beautifully rich synthesis of Hellenism and Christianity. It speaks
      directly to us as Greek Orthodox Christians, who are the proud bearers
      of this cherished and unique legacy, which we have the responsibility
      to share with our neighbors.

      In reviewing the history of October 28, OXI Day, it is natural for us
      to look first and foremost to our fathers and their noble actions in
      Greece in 1940. Interestingly though, if we look deeper into our own
      American history, we find a notable connection with the date of October
      28; for on that day, in 1886, another important event that stood for
      liberty and freedom took place, namely, the dedication of the Statue of
      Liberty on Ellis Island, a safe harbor for hundreds of thousands of
      immigrants to America. Much in the same way, this event too confirmed
      the fundamental rights of liberty and freedom, and today the Statue of
      Liberty stands as a monument that continues to herald these ideals to
      people throughout the world.

      Thus, as we commemorate the Twenty-Eighth of October, we first bring to
      mind the events of Greece in 1940 and the courageous "OXI" which the
      brave Hellenic nation uttered in the face of fascist aggression. We
      remember the stand of our Hellenic fathers for liberty and freedom at
      all costs, which was a stand mandated by their Orthodox Christian
      faith. Second, we take this opportunity to probe deeper into notable
      events in American history that also occurred on the Twenty-Eighth of
      October, specifically the dedication of the Statue of Liberty in 1886,
      which stood for the very same principles. In so doing, we re-discover
      precious symbols and events in history which bring unique import to us
      as Greek Orthodox Christians who are citizens and residents of America,
      our beloved second home.

      We are thankful to God for giving us important events in history which
      serve to remind us of the precious gifts of liberty and freedom. It is
      my heartfelt prayer that as we reflect upon the significance of this
      date, we may direct our hearts and minds to reflect upon the conditions
      of liberty and freedom which are essential to our identity as Greek
      Orthodox Christians and which rightfully belong to all human beings,
      especially in places where these conditions are lacking. May the
      abiding love and peace of our gracious and merciful God be with you
      always.

      With paternal love in Christ,

      + DEMETRIOS
      Archbishop of America
      ----------------------------------------------------
      Forwarded by Rd. David-C



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