EUROPE & ITS FUTURE
THE HOLY SYNOD OF THE CHURCH OF GREECE ON THE FUTURE OF EUROPE
7 July 2003
The Church of Greece celebrates today the holy memory of it s founder, the Apostle Paul, and from this sacred rock, where the Apostle himself preached, deems it its responsibility to address its Christian congregation and the great family of peoples of the European Union. It does so in brotherly love, in order to note certain truths of vital and timely importance during this confluence of historical circumstances.
The passage of the Apostle Paul from Asia into Europe, following the vision that is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles (16, 9-10), signals a decisive event in history. By the acceptance of the message of the Anastasis, the Resurrection, the peoples of Europe ceased to constitute «sweepings carelessly piled together,» and as one Church they began to develop a coherent European civilization. Thus Paul became the spiritual progenitor and father of Europe. The Apostle would have been able to say to the Europeans that which he wrote in Corinthians, For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel. (I Corinthians 4, 15)
While the history of Europe often testifies to deviations from the genuine message of the Gospel, still the people of Europe did not cease to consider as the highest criterion of hu-man deeds the values which derive from the Holy Gospel of Christ. This holds true even when they deny or ignore the origins of these values, ascribing them to an irreligious human-ism.
Europe cannot, and should not forget that its spiritual foundations lie in the Gospel of Christ. This constitutes an undisputed fact that has been realized for centuries, so much so that it is senseless to reinterpret it once more. To possess this history however is not enough. Europe must have the strength to honor it. In this regard, the weakness of the European political class to accept the history of its civilization, the effort to conceal its progenitor from its very Constitution, represents of point of dangerous regression. From a spiritual and cultural point of view this is not a Constitution of the European Union but an Affirmation of European Political Decline.
The Church of Greece prays to the Lord on behalf of Europe, it prays intently so that the European Union of our peoples succeeds. It notes however that the Union will not succeed if it sells its soul, if it denies the spirit in favor of geo-economic exigencies. In other words, the European Union must remain a cultural entity, the expression of a coherent civilization. If this should be corrupted, if we find ourselves confronting a non-European, a spurious united Europe, our civilization shall be the victim of a crushing globalism that alienates the very humanity of a person.
The Church of Greece prays that a European Union will strengthen world peace with all its might. This however is impossible as long as international law is evaded. Our planet cries to the Lord, asking for mercy. Injustice has prevailed and that which is most impudent often is honored as if a winner. Europe needs to mobilize to defend the human personality from imposition borne of might; It must struggle on behalf of peace and in order to support victims of injustice.
The Church of Greece expects that the peoples of Europe will work for the success of the Union, and at the same time for the strengthening of national identity. The Church notes that the struggle for national identity needs to advance in tandem with love for the other and respect for his or her culture. The devotion to national identity must not represent a denial of the fact that,
"... we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for His name. "(Romans, 1,5)
The Church of Greece deems it is sacred duty to issue this Declaration during this notable day. It hopes and prays that the political leadership of the European Union will realize the mistake it has made as regards our history and that it will bring to bear policies more in ac-cord with European civilization.
Addressing the European people the Church of Greece draws from the depth of its heart,
Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be good, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace: and the God of love and peace shall be with you. (II Corinthians 13,11)
The Holy Synod
Of the Church of Greece, 7 July 2003.
® ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN COMMENT Editorial Presentation:
The Apostle Peter, Kellion Ravdouhou
Dependency of Pantokrator,
Karyes, 12th c.
The Apostle Paul,
Dependency of Pantokrator,
Karyes, 12th c.
Contents & Index