LAW BEING PREPARED IN GREECE DECLARING OFFENSIVE CERTAIN “EXPRESSIONS” FROM THE GOSPEL
Athens, December 1, 2013
Metropolitan Nicholas of Fthiotida, one of leading Hierarchs of the Church of Greece, has spoken about a new bill of the Greek government banning the reading of certain “offensive” stories from the Gospel, introducing responsibility for patriotism, and legalizing same-sex “marriages”.
The Greek government in all probability is unhesitatingly continuing the preparation of the new “anti-racist” bill, which may soon became a federal law, reports AgionOros.ru with the reference to Romphea.
It will include consent to “free relationships”, which will extend to same-sex unions, removal from the Holy Week services of passages potentially “offensive” to Jews, and declare inadmissible any demonstration by Greeks of “excessive” patriotism, lest they offend the sensibility of non-Greeks. One of leading Hierarchs of the Church of Greece, Metropolitan Nicholas of Fthiotida, commenting on the bill, is not concealing his indignation over far-reaching plans of its developers.
“Are we living in the time of Sodom and Gomorrah?” he says.
Regarding the consent to “free relationships”, the Hierarch noted, “The introduction of bills opposed to the spirit of the Gospel, like the consent to “free relationships”, is a perverted and at the same time immoral and anti-Christian action. All of us must draw a conclusion. Are we living in the time of Sodom and Gomorrah? It is necessary to protect our people from lawlessness, so that they may preserve the ideas of justice, freedom, independence, and love. You cannot, after all, level everything in the world”.
“What kind of people are these who want to revise the Bible?”
His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas said regarding the possible censoring of the text of Holy Week services: “During Holy Week our priests in their churches will read the Gospel containing such words as: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, you strain at a gnat but swallow a camel”, as well as other passages about Judas, etc. Should they really be removed? What kind of people are they who want to revise the Gospel? We are not haters of any people; we respect the Jewish people and all other peoples. Besides, the Jewish nation is the forerunner of Christianity. Our Lord was of Jewish origin, and the Jewish people of the Old Testament believed in One, True God. Nobody treats Jews with such respect as do we, Christians. But should the Gospel, the words of the Lord Himself, be changed solely for this reason? And who are these latter-day “mediators”, wishing to preach the new “Gospel” to us? For what reasons is all this happening—for political ones, so that other people’s feelings might not be offended? The Gospel cannot be changed, and it is the same for Church services. The Church can adapt its approaches, but its meaning remains unchanged. And it will be the same now. Let them prepare thousands of bills; will they really imprison all Bishops, Patriarchs, priests, and monks? This is absurd.”
“Greece is a courageous country, it has its own heroes, it struggled, it has its own national holidays, its own flag, and parades. Must we really cancel everything so that migrants may not be insulted?”
Since the bill also touches upon “protection” of the sensibilitites of those who might be insulted by a demonstration of the Greek people’s “excessive” patriotism, the Metropolitan has called upon the government to approach the preparation of bills reasonably and with a sense of harmony, otherwise Greece may simply be destroyed: “I think a similar bill already existed in 1979. What kind of pressure is exerted on the government that it enacts such strange laws? But the people have their own criteria. How can such a law be passed if by following it Greeks have to be afraid to express their love for their motherland, simply because the feelings of other people—who had once enslaved Greece—will be ‘wounded’? I mean Turks. If we are afraid to cite the examples of our heroes because Muslim or Albanian children’s feelings will be affected, then what will happen to our native country? We will destroy it! Bills like this one can, of course, protect someone… But don’t these people know that Greece is a courageous country, it has its own heroes, it struggled, it has its own national holidays, its own flag, parades, as every country does? So must we really cancel everything so that migrants might not be insulted?”
03 / 12 / 2013
CREDITOR STATES DEMAND THAT GREECE REDUCE CLERGY SALARIES
Athens, July 18, 2013
International creditors are currently exerting pressure on the government of Greece, demanding that it cancel the salaries of around 9500 Priests. This proposal has been put forward as a part of the requirements formulated by the creditor states with the purpose of reducing expenditures in Greece, reports Sedmitza.ru.
Meanwhile, it is believed in Greece that such demands may provoke a sharp reaction from the clergy. The Church and the state are not separated from each other in Greece and priests are paid salaries there as civil servants.
According to a message of the Parapolitika newspaper, cited by the Оrthodoxie.comFrench Orthodox website, this is the second time this has been proposed by creditors’ representatives. It was earlier proposed in 2011 to the government of the prime-minister Georgios A. Papandreou. According to that proposal, the state was to stop paying salaries to priests and other categories of employees who work in the Church.
At the present time, the Greek state is spending around 200 million euros on salaries to priests of the Church of Greece.
It is still not quite clear what the consequences would be should the Greek authorities implement this proposal: Will state’s role in financing the Church decline, or will the Church have to choose between paying salaries to clergy and discharging priests, after the example of the government, which is currently considering laying off up to 27,500 public sector workers.
22 / 07 / 2013
EU COURT: GREEK LAW RESERVING ‘CIVIL UNIONS’ FOR HETEROSEXUALS ‘ILLEGAL’
Rome, November 8, 2013
A law in Greece that allows civil unions for heterosexual couples but does not include same-sex partners has been declared illegal by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
When a country provides legal recognition to unmarried heterosexual couples in the form of civil unions, the court said in a ruling issued Thursday, same-sex partners must also be able to benefit in the same way.
In a judgment in the joint cases of Vallianatos and Mylonas v. Greece and C.S. and others v. Greece, the Grand Chamber of the ECHR ruled that the Greek law violates the European Convention on Human Rights. In what has become the highly successful practice by lobbyists to overturn national laws, activists had brought the two cases to the ECHR demanding that the Greek government recognize same-sex partnerships.
Six of the seven applicants, the court noted, “live together” as couples in Athens or are “in a relationship “but for professional and social reasons do not live together.”
“The seventh applicant is a not- for-profit association, the aims of which include providing psychological and moral support to gays and lesbians,” the court said.
The law, entitled “Reforms concerning the family, children and society,” entered into force in 2008. The complainants said in a hearing in January 2013 that it was “designed only for couples composed of different sex adults had infringed their right to respect for their private and family life and amounted to unjustified discrimination between different-sex and same-sex couples, to the detriment of the latter.”
The law had been put in place to protect women and the children born within cohabiting unions and was supported in Parliament by the argument that limited legal recognition of opposite-sex civil unions would “reflect a social reality,” of widespread cohabitation outside marriage. It was intended to allow “the persons concerned to register their relationship within a more flexible legal framework than that provided by marriage.” Such “de facto” partnerships have increased by 2008 to include about five percent of all children born in Greece.
An explanatory report on the law submitted to the court noted that the law was intended to help women and their children who had been left “without any support after a long period of cohabitation, and the phenomenon of single-parent families generally.”
The report also emphasized that the law allowed status of religious marriage to remain “unparalleled” in Greek law and that “alongside civil marriage, [it] represented the best option for couples wishing to found a family with a maximum of legal, financial and social safeguards.”
The according to the government’s report said that civil unions were reserved for different-sex adults and concluded that they represented a new form of partnership and not a kind of “flexible marriage.”
“The report considered that the institution of marriage would not be weakened by the new legislation, as it was governed by a different set of rules,” court documents said.
During the debate before Parliament, the Greek Minister of Justice said, “We mustn’t include same sex couples. We are indeed convinced that the needs and demands of the Hellenic society do not cross this line; as a legislator, the political party in power is accountable to the Greek people; we have our own beliefs and negotiations are over; I believe it is the way to go.”
The court allowed “third-party” interventions from a cadre of homosexual activist groups including the Fédération internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH) and the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe).
Livio Zilli, Senior Legal Adviser at the International Commission of Jurists, one of the activist groups that brought the case forward, said that the decision demonstrated that the Convention on Human Rights is “a living instrument to be interpreted in the present-day conditions.”
The state is “obliged under the Convention to take account of societal developments, as well as of the fact that there was no single way or choice when it came to people’s exercise and enjoyment of their right to family or private life,” he continued.
In related news, the government of Croatia has said that voters will be facing a December 1st referendum to decide whether to change the legal definition of marriage. The ballot will ask the question, “Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?” If the vote supports natural marriage, the constitution will be amended to specifically define marriage as being between a man and a woman and prohibit same-sex “marriage.”
Croatia’s liberal President Ivo Josipovic has said he will vote No on the question, adding, “Do we need this kind of a referendum?”
“I think that determining marriage between a man and a woman does not belong in the constitution. A nation is judged by its attitude toward minorities,” Josipovic said.
A pro-family group had collected over 730,000 signatures to bring the referendum question to the public, but had been blocked by Josipovic’s left-leaning government. Although that number represented about 20 percent of the country’s total electorate – in a nation of about 4.3 million persons – the government had attempted to stall, claiming that not enough signatures had been gathered.
The Referendum Act requires that petitioners secure the signatures only of 10 percent of the electorate.
Nevertheless, Vesna Pusić Minister of Foreign Affairs attempted to block the vote by claiming that instead of the 3,760,000 citizens eligible to vote in the last European Union elections, there were 4,560,000. In a press release, the citizen imitative that had petitioned for the referendum called this “a number which almost certainly includes the deceased, ghosts, and double votes.”
Pusić also attempted to claim that, despite the wording of the law, that a referendum result would not be binding on the government.
The group, a grassroots coalition called, “In the Name of the Family,” says its task is to promote “universal human values, as well as religious associations, communities and movements – all those who hold the view that marriage is a union between a man and a woman only.”
09 / 11 / 2013
SUPREME COURT OF GREECE DELIVERS A JUDGMENT REFERRING TO SHARIA LAW
Athens, November 22, 2013
The will of a Muslim, which was made in accordance with the Greek civil code, has been nullified by the Greek Supreme court because it did not correspond with sharia norms, reports Secularism.org.uk.
The Muslim man, Demetr Simeonidu, who lived in Thrace, left all his fortune in his will to his wife and prepared respective documents. However, his sister contested the will because, according to the sharia law, a Muslim cannot fully bequeath his fortune at his own discretion and it should be distributed in accordance with the Muslim regulations.
The judgment of the Supreme court contradicts the traditional right of Greek Muslims in Thrace to draw up a will in accordance with the civil code, rather than Muslim religious rights; Muslims of Thrace have enjoyed this right since 1946.
This precedent may affect the whole traditional judicial practice in Greece and, thus, relatives of Muslims will probably be able to dispute the official order of distribution of fortunes.
According to the Treaty of Lausanne, signed in 1923 by Greece and Turkey, among other countries, Imams in Western Thrace have a right to decide cases of the civil jurisdiction, first of all of the family code. In 2011, sharia courts in Thrace were condemned by the Commissioner of the Council of Europe as discriminatory against women.
26 / 11 / 2013
AN ORTHODOX CHURCH DESECRATED ON CRETE BY NEO-PAGANS
Iraklion, August 29, 2013
A shocking sight opened to the parishioners of a small Church in Ligaria (Iraklion region) on Crete, reports Sedmitza.ru.
At night, unidentified people (probably neo-pagans) forced the door, penetrated into the Church, desecrated the liturgical vessels and left graffiti of anti-Christian content on the walls. Judging by the content of the blasphemous slogans, it can be supposed that the vandals were neo-pagans: one line of graffiti expresses displeasure that “ancient Christians destroyed pagan temples”. The forensic expert discovered ash in the centre of the church, so there is reason to suppose that “satanic rituals were conducted” there.
This event has sent shockwaves through the community of Crete, which has expressed indignation at the desecration of the Orthodox church.
It should be noted that neo-paganism in Greece (as well as in Russia and other European countries) has gained popularity over recent years. As a result, attacks on Christians and Christian Shrines have become more frequent.
02 / 09 / 2013
HILANDAR TO BE VISITED BY WOMEN SOON?
November 11, 2013
A group of female MPs of the European Parliament asked Greece recently to abolish a regulation, according to which women are strictly forbidden to visit the Holy Mountain, its twenty monasteries and 2,500 monks.
The request says that the law “violates gender equality and introduces discrimination against women, which is not consistent with democracy”. At the same time, ads appeared in Serbian media, offering to take women on the “pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain” at the price of EUR 100 – 200. In this way, a question of women going to the Holy Mountain and the monastery of Hilandar was opened, which some of the NGOs in Serbia want to start.
“Ideas of opening the Holy Mountain for women, which occasionally appear, are apparently a part of the frontal attack of the new world order on the Eastern Christianity under the guise of abolishing traditional communities, introducing democracy and developing modern tourist business. This comes from feminist circles in the U.S., and LGBT community, which have unlimited resources and simply destroy the Christian and Orthodox tradition under the excuse of some concern for equality,” said Veljko Djuric Misina, church historian.
It is known that women can not set foot on the Holy Mountain, because the Holy Mother of God forbid it, when she told in 442 the daughter of Theodosius the Great, as she was visiting the monastery of Vatopedi, to step down. Since then, no women have been allowed to walk in the Virgin’s garden.
12 / 11 / 2013