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Metropolitan Demands that Golden Dawn Clarifies its Neo-Pagan Stance

Metropolitan Demands that Golden Dawn Clarifies its Neo-Pagan Stance

Metropolitan Serapheim of Pireaus00

In a recent long announcement, Metropolitan Serapheim of Piraeus spoke about the Neo-Pagan character and sympathies of the extreme right-wing party Golden Dawn. Within his declaration, he called upon Golden Dawn leaders to clarify exactly what their position was regarding Christianity and the Church.

In forcefully expressing himself, he highlighted his concern regarding the reinstitution  of a deceased religion which has lost its rites, practices and beliefs, and to which we only have sketchy information. He also cited that what we do know is cause for concern for public morality, well-being and law enforcement. He drew upon many examples, particularly the pagan god Zeus, who committed paedophilia when he transformed himself into an eagle in order to abduct and rape the youth Ganymede.

Yet in returning to his discourse, he emphasised that the phenomenon of the “neo-pagan” movement in Greece and Europe, has its origins from prominent leaders and academics of our present era; as well as those figures and advocates associated with the “New World Order” whose use, manipulation and imposition of Islam upon Europe, is aimed at destroying Christianity and creating conflict. Naturally in the same vein as the so-called Arab Spring was a sham that encrypted the Islamist movement which is currently plunging the Middle East into its crisis and the persecution of indigenous Christians there. In continuing, Metropolitan Serapheim also highlighted that the Neo-Pagan movement is financed and supported by multi-national financial institutions and banks, amongst whose prominent members are known to be staunch personal contributors and lenders.

Nevertheless, it seems that the inspiration for the Metropolitan’s impassioned announcement, was prompted by a visit of the Golden Dawn parliamentarian, Artemis Matthaiopoulou, who had declared that he was “religious, but does not go to church”, and that he felt “more Greek than actually Christian”. The same parliamentarian when broached on his opinion of the ancient religion of Olympian paganism, he replied that “he respected it, and that we at Golden Dawn believe in agnosticism”. Metropolitan Serapheim then began relating how another Golden Dawn member, Elias Kasidaris, was intending to ascend a high mountain, in order to greet the winter solstice and offer honour and veneration to the sun, which the Metropolitan cites is: “an illogical, unmoved, unfeeling energy of power within our universe that has no conscience, but merely bestows heat and light”.

In any case, with these circumstances and many more, His Eminence called upon Golden Dawn to clarify their position to the electorate, since voters have been confused by their contradictory stances; particularly with regards their appeals to paganism, and their “hidden and ulterior agendas” on a number of national issues, which only close party members are permitted to know. The Metropolitan then invited Mr Matthaiopoulos to ensure that Golden Dawn, and all its various associate branches, inform the public exactly what is the meaning or purpose with their use, respect and reverence of the idolatry of the ancient pagan religion entail.

Furthermore, Metropolitan Serapheim requested specifics regarding the employ of idolatrous anthropomorphisms, symbolisms and practices which are the product of fertile modern-day imaginations, but are ascribed to the worship of the ancient gods, and are passed on from person to person as genuine pagan tradition. But the greatest concern according to Metropolitan Serapheim, which Golden Dawn needs to clarify, is the “incarnation” of rites of nature worship which seek to “unlock” the power of nature, together with other accompanying “vulgar” and “debased” rites which give free reign to human vices.

And it was to this last point in particular, that Metropolitan Serapheim noted, corresponded with some of the awful excesses of ancient paganism, and not some of its better elements. Yet he recalled once again the paedophilia of Zeus and the rape of Ganymede, asking whether we will see people being inspired by this story to commit a disgraceful crime, all because Golden Dawn seeks to promote paganism, through inspiring racist sentiments and appealing to peoples’ patriotism.

Greek flag

Source: Greek Free Press

Translated by VM

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  1. Bishop Seraphim turns against Golden Dawn
    Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus, who has courted controversy in the past with anti-Semitic comments, launched an unexpected attack on far-right Golden Dawn

    Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus, who has courted controversy in the past with anti-Semitic comments, launched an unexpected attack on far-right Golden Dawn due to the party embracing paganism.

    “It has been proved that this political group uses the disguise of nationalism to cover its neopaganistic ideology,” he said in a statement. The apparent rift between the bishop and Golden Dawn came as a surprise because Seraphim had been complimentary toward the party in the past and joined it in taking legal action against the staging of Terrence McNally’s “Corpus Christi” play in Athens.

    Seraphim asked the party to clarify its position on paganism, including worship of ancient Greek gods. Golden Dawn accused him of kowtowing to the establishment.

    Source: Kathimerini

  2. Golden Dawn and the devil
    Say what you like, being an apologist for Satan is no easy task, writes Dean Kalimniou in this week’s diatribe
    26 Sep 2013

    Say what you like, being an apologist for Satan is no easy task. Take for example the Yezidis, an obscure ancient of Iraq, who reverence the aforementioned nefarious being. According to their view of things, the Peacock Angel, also known as Satan, is not the source of evil. Quite the opposite, he is to be commended, for he refused to obey God’s capricious injunction to bow down to and serve Adam. Adding to the confusion, the Yezidic Satan is but one of a heptad of angels who are in fact God’s emanation, formed of the light of God. God is supposed to delegate most of his actions to the heptad so instead of a trinity, we are talking here of a heptarchy. Of course, in Christianity, Satan is the source of evil in the world, his task being to tempt humans to give in to their baser instincts and stray from the path of God. Yet while orthodox Christianity, on the basis of the book of Revelation, preaches the final eternal damnation and punishment of the Archfiend and all his pomps, some influential theologians have, in their quest to prove the ultimate mercy and love of God, to suggest that in the final apokatastasis or restoration of the divine plan, even the Devil will be forgiven and restored.

    Origen, the great theologian whose writings form the foundation of Christian theology, and who castrated himself in order to purify himself of the passions, seems to have been condemned for this view, after his death. According to him, a vast cleansing via the equivalent of a spiritual bushfire would take place, leading to cosmic renovation. By a further spiritualisation Origen called God himself this consuming fire. In proportion, as souls were freed from sin and ignorance, the material world was to pass away, until, after endless eons, at the final end, God should be all in all, and the worlds and spirits should return to a knowledge of God. This, logically, would also include the infernal spirits who would emerge very much burnt and very much cleansed.

    Evagrius Ponticus, an influential Pontian theologian, also espoused this point of view and even the revered Orthodox saint and theologian St Gregory of Nyssa approached this view of things, though not without numerous qualification and distinctions: In the Life of Moses, he writes that just as the darkness left the Egyptians after three days, perhaps redemption will be extended to those suffering in hell. There are passages where he seems to suggest that even the demons will have a place in Christ’s “world of goodness” based on his interpretations of Corinthians (“And when all things shall be subdued unto him …”) and Philippians (“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth”). While he too believes in the purifying fire and the banishment of evil though, it is arguable that this does not preclude a belief that God might justly damn sinners for eternity.

    Nicholaos Mihaloliakos, the leader of Golden Dawn, also appears to believe in the apokatastasis. His apokatastasis however, is not one where Satan is purified, forgiven and restored to his primordial position after apologising profusely for his transgressions. Instead, according to his early beliefs and writings, he looks forward to the time when Satan will oust “twenty centuries of darkness,” restore “lost Paradiseis of old” which comprise the “future world of our dreams, which by our own Will, shall become a reality”. All this and much more besides is contained in his introduction to Odysseus Paterakis’ poetry collection: “The Shining Darkness of Lucifer – The National Greek Religion.” According to Mihaloliakos, who at that time was not a member of parliament and thus had time to dabble in literary criticism, poems such as Lucifer, in which Paterakis warns: “The meek beware, we have returned, in the ranks of the black battalions of Hell. We proceed in the footsteps of Prometheus, and Lucifer illuminates our way”, poetry of this nature is to be applauded because it possesses “Spiritual Courage” and “Ideological Consistency”.

    The Spiritual Courage of the poet here, according to the mini-Führer, lies in calling for the overthrow of Christianity and the restoration of some type of ill-defined neo-pagan religion, in the same way that Alfred Rosenberg designed the new Nazi neo-pagan religion for his Führer in the ‘thirties. The Ideological Consistency, something which of course is important to all totalitarian belief systems, is exemplified by the poet wishing to “sacrifice his desire to be liked by everyone, by remaining true to his national consciousness”. One may possibly find an example of such consistency in the poem The Lord of the Demons, where the poet states that he is an element of death, the offspring of the abyss and begs for the chance to be offered the primordial forbidden fruit from the hands of the Arch-slanderer himself. Powerful stuff, except the bit where he claims that he is a “monk of lightning and a beast of the sea”, where the imagery veers off into mangaland.

    There follows a lengthy quotation of the poet W. B. Yeats, which fills up one half of the introduction, presumably serving the double purpose of establishing Mihalokiakos’ intellectual credentials (after all, he has read Yeats), as well as dispensing with the need to come up with anything more original to say. Coincidentally, Yeats had designed the uniforms of the Irish fascists in the ‘twenties. Do we forgive him his foibles? After all, many of us are guilty of penning introductions to questionable works which we would prefer never to see the light of day again. I remember writing one such introduction to a work involving an interstate romance that came to a heady conclusion on the exotic sands of Victor Harbor. The key significance of this work was that half of it was copied from a travel brochure about this enchanting location. Yet as I recall, while the besotted youth was romancing his beloved on the horse-drawn tram, there was no mention of any infernal powers, despite their devil-may-care attitude on life in general.

    Mihaloliakos’ love of the devil, stemming as it does from his conviction that Christianity has somehow corrupted Greek civilization and that paganism offers a way forward, is an element of the core belief system of Golden Dawn’s rank and file that they now would not readily admit to. In his attempt to plunge his party into the mainstream of Greek politics, he now professes an admiration for “our Orthodoxy”. In particular, he is concerned with protecting Orthodoxy from the miasma of racial miscegenation, recently crossing swords with Metropolitan Anthimos of Thessaloniki. An outspoken nationalist himself, Anthimos has condemned Golden Dawn’s racist provision of food and other handouts, which is restricted solely to Greeks. He has confirmed the Church’s doctrine that charity is for all and that migrants and other needy groups in Greece should not be discriminated against. Mihaloliakos ripostes by stating his concern for the protection of the integrity of Orthodoxy, which concern, one would suggest, is as sincere as that of his object of admiration, that mankind be permitted to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. This, after all, this is the person who, with his simian cohorts, performs the contemptible act of physically abusing Greek citizens who purchase foodstuffs from migrants.

    With such disturbingly farcical views under their belt, views that the Greek media have either not presented to their full extent or which have not been fully analysed or understood by a Greek public bred upon a public discourse of hyperbole and sensationalism, Golden Dawn’s continued presence in the Greek parliament and growing popularity is gravely disquieting. A racist, macho, sexist, violent organisation that applauds the devil and writes poetry in his honour simply because kindness and compassion is beyond its members’ compass of emotions, would have us believe that it offers a plausible way forward for the Greek people. While it espouses its devilish world view, it, as a way of duping the gullible populace into smoothing their assault on power, professes concern for a religion that preaches the exact opposite of the evil that they rejoice in. To them, therefore, and their heinous adherents, only one Greek injunction is relevant and should be expressed on a continuous basis until their pernicious existence is expunged from the diptychs of Greek political life: «Άει στο διάολο!»

  3. You got one thing wrong here- Artemis Mattheopoulos is a man, not a woman.

    • Thank you for that piece of information because I was merely translating the article that one of our readers had forwarded onto us which used Greek feminine terms in referring to Mr Mattheopoulos. Whether that was deliberate or a mistake on part of the journalist, I am not sure, but the same paper has been equally scathing of other political parties (and rightly so due to their extremism!). I have adjusted the article according to the need for correction. Thank you Ryan

  4. The Golden Dawn nightmare: The Orthodox Church and Greece’s war against neo-Nazism
    SOURCE: Religion and Ethics
    By Demetrios Bathrellos

    Antonis was a fellow student of mine at high school back in 1984. He believed in the superiority of the Greek race and belonged to a strange political organization called Golden Dawn. He and his like-minded friends were not violent, at least not at school, and some were even excellent students. But they used to do crazy things. For example, they occasionally greeted each other by raising their hand while shouting “Heil Hitler.” One of them once told me that his life changed when he read Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”.

    Of course, I realise that adolescence may be for many a difficult period. Still, this seemed to be going a little too far. Greece, after all, had suffered enormously from the Nazis during the course of World War II. Many soldiers were killed while defending their country against Italy and then Germany. Many civilians were executed, often in small scale “holocausts.” Our Jewish communities were decimated. Thousands of people in big cities, including children, died from starvation. The country was devastated.

    To hymn Hitler and Nazism in Greece could only be regarded as gallows humour. A popular Greek comedy in the 1950s bore the title “The Germans Return,” with the subtitle “a satirical nightmare.” The movie was about somebody’s dream that Hitler had somehow survived and was invading Greece for a second time. Golden Dawn could not but be a political comedy – because, otherwise, it would be a nightmare. But that is precisely what it turned out to be.

    Nearly twenty years later, Antonis – who by that stage had become second in command under Golden Dawn’s Fuhrer, Nikos Michaloliakos – was arrested for having nearly killed Dimitris Kousouris, an anti-fascist university student. He was convicted to serve 21 years in jail. Golden Dawn tacitly disowned him. But no one seemed to care. Around 2006, Golden Dawn used to attract something like 0.2% of the vote in the national elections. The emergence of Neo-Nazism in “the country that gave birth to democracy” seemed to most of us as a logical impossibility. Surely there was no cause for worry.

    But a few years later, the nightmare came true. In the latest national elections in June 2012, Golden Dawn took 6.9% of the vote and saw 18 MPs elected to the Greek Parliament of 300 seats. Worse was yet to come. The polls kept showing that support for Golden Dawn was steadily rising. Until a few weeks ago, it was estimated that, if national elections were held, Golden Dawn would come third and could take between 15% and 20% of the vote, when the first party was expected to get less than 30%. As we began to realize what this might mean, many of us held our breath in horror: Neo-Nazi admirers of Hitler might run the Greek State. What happened in Germany back in the 1930s could happen again in Greece!

    Golden Dawn has been operating for a few years now as a paramilitary, racist, criminal organization, orchestrating terrorizing raids and attacks on immigrants, but also on Greeks who support or employ them. The use of verbal and physical violence has been typical of their behaviour. One of the highest ranking members of the party, Ilias Kasidiaris, punched Lianna Kanelli, a female MP of the communist party, during a live television broadcast. Many members of Golden Dawn go to gyms and take anabolic steroids in order to present strong and impressive male bodies. Some even bear guns (illegally). They often go out in large groups wearing black uniforms in an attempt to occupy the pavements of the cities. But they also “protect” Greeks from illegal immigrants by beating, stabbing and probably even killing the latter. They are vociferous critics of the financial measures imposed on Greece by the European Union and the IMF. They are against the system and the governing political parties, which are widely held responsible for the financial crisis.

    In the eyes of many, Golden Dawn are heroes. Their supporters, unfortunately, include many policemen, who have either turned a blind eye to Golden Dawn’s illegal activities or have even been complicit with it. Golden Dawn’s leaders pretend to be Christians, but they aren’t. Their ideology (Nazism) is deeply anti-Christian. Their practice to give food only to Greeks bluntly contradicts the practice of the Orthodox Church to give food to everyone who needs it. And yet a Greek bishop went as far as to claim that Golden Dawn may prove a “sweet hope” for the future of the nation. Thankfully, many other Greek bishops, as well as priests and lay theologians, have condemned Golden Dawn in unambiguous terms.

    A few of weeks ago, something truly dreadful happened. Pavlos Fyssas, a 34 year old anti-fascist singer (known also as Killah P), was stabbed to death by George Roupakias, a Golden Dawn member. The whole nation froze, as at long last its eyes were opened to the obvious: the nightmare has come true. It quickly transpired that the attack against Fyssas was part of a raid, authorized by the leadership of the party, as is the usual practice in Golden Dawn’s paramilitary structure.

    The reaction of the Government was swift, determined and masterfully organized. Overwhelming evidence of the criminal activity of Golden Dawn was sent to the highest ranking judicial officers of the country. Upon careful examination of the evidence, their legal conclusion was this: the leader, five MPs and some thirty members of Golden Dawn will have to be arrested on several charges, including that of forming and running a criminal organization. On Saturday, 28 September, early in the morning, the police began to arrest them. Since then, additional evidence has emerged, linking Golden Dawn leaders and members to further illegal activities.

    To arrest the leader and five MPs of a political party is exceptional in a Western democracy. It may appear to be an attack on democracy itself. But the Prime Minister’s position was crystal-clear: they are Nazis, there is no doubt about this; yet, no one is to be arrested for their ideas, whatever these may be, but only if there is compelling evidence of criminal activity. On the basis of the aforementioned evidence, the green light was given for their arrest. Golden Dawn’s popularity has by now fallen by something like 40%. Many believe that 28 September will be remembered as a great day for democracy, and for justice.

    It goes without saying that those arrested are entitled to a fair trial. So, if the charges are found unconvincing, these people – or at least some of them – may go out triumphant. This is unlikely, but not impossible. And this is only one of the reasons why the solution to the problem of neo-Nazism cannot be primarily, let alone exclusively, a legal one. Christianity and democracy should act together. The Christian message of peace and love, especially towards the stranger and the weak, should go hand in hand with the promotion of democratic ideals in the ideological battle with the “values” and practices of neo-Nazism.

    It is true that the Orthodox Church in Greece has had the tendency to be too interested in defending or promoting the interests of the Greek nation. Moreover, due to the overwhelming anti-religious rhetoric of leftish politicians and intellectuals, many Church members are instinctively inclined to see the right with a degree of sympathy and to view the left with suspicion. This, however, does not turn Orthodox Christians into Golden Dawn sympathizers, let alone supporters.

    The Church is nowadays responding to the financial crisis by preaching the Gospel – for instance, by retelling the parable of the Good Samaritan and by reminding that Christ identified himself with the immigrant and the poor. Moreover, it is responding to the social tensions associated with austerity with distinctive forms of Christian praxis – for instance, by feeding the immigrants, illegal or otherwise, as much as it feeds the Greeks. It is in this way that the Church is waging a peaceful war against Golden Dawn, which is often in stark contrast with the violence that prevails in many Greek anti-fascist rallies.

    This silent and yet resounding praxis is contributing to forging and sustaining social bonds in the face of anti-immigrant paranoia and financial hardship. It is also changing hearts and minds. Many people, including politicians, journalists and intellectuals with long-held anti-religious prejudices have only now begun to see the Church’s true face in a better light. Newspapers of the left have published articles by Orthodox bishops (for instance by Metropolitan Pavlos of Siatista) that castigate Golden Dawn. Radio stations publicize and support the Church’s philanthropic activity. It is being gradually recognised that the Church is not an enemy of democracy and of human rights, but an ally against Neo-Nazism.

    The vile weed of Nazism has grown, once again, on the poisoned soil of financial catastrophe. This means that, unless the Greek economy recovers, Golden Dawn will probably either survive or be replaced by other extremists – and we have already many of them around. It is true that the Greek political system, and its numerous “clients,” behaved irresponsibly, immorally or even illegally, and thus led Greece to the brink of financial disaster. But to punish the entire country is not the solution. Today, youth unemployment in Greece is around 60%. This is a lost and desperate generation. It is clear that the financial recipe imposed on Greece has failed tragically.

    It is equally clear that Greek people have already suffered greatly. Unless Germany, the real financial leader in the European Union, heeds the America’s advice to implement measures contributing to the recovery of Greek economy, Nazism in Greece will probably have a future – as was the case in Germany itself. And this will be catastrophic, not only for Greece, but also for Europe and democracy as a whole.

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