18 November 2019, 18:21
OCU opponents picket Greek, Turkish embassies in Moscow (updated)
Moscow, November 18, Interfax - A series of one person pickets against the actions of the Greek hierarchs that recognized the non-canonical Orthodox church of Ukraine (OCU) and "the Greek government manipulating them" took place in front of the Greek Embassy in Moscow on Monday.
It emerged in early November that Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria de facto recognized the OCU by mentioning the name of his leader, Epiphanius I, as the primate of a local Orthodox church during a liturgy service. Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and All Greece recognized the OCU in late October, despite opposition on the part of his own episcopacy.
The participants in today's picket in Leontiyevsky Lane in Moscow held a poster with the text "This is how the faith is sold" in Greek and Russian. One of the posters depicted Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis standing on a stool bearing the inscription "U.S. Democratic Party, and the heads of the Church of Greece and the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria were depicted as puppets.
"Plenty of evidence suggests that the non-canonical and immoral decisions of Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria and Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens were made not without the influence of the Greek authorities, which are currently leaning towards the Atlantic. It is known that Athens is under Brussels' strict financial and economic control and it relies on U.S. Democrats, among whom the Greek ethnolobby is strong," one of the picketers, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, senior priest of the Church of Theodore the Studite located in the immediate vicinity from the Greek embassy, told Interfax.
According to the priest, who used to work in the church diplomacy field for a long time, the Russian Orthodox Church must "switch from compromises to a direct conversation, especially as [it] has looked for a compromise for many years and faced utter dishonor of some church and political officials of the Greek world."
"One can talk with the Greek people above its elites, talk with the conservative majority of the people, those people who don't allow Ukrainian schismatics enter the Greek churches now, despite the stance of the hierarchic system, with those priests, theologians, monks, and bishops, who don't follow the path of renovationism to please the militantly atheist elites of Brussels and Washington. The Greek establishment, both secular and religious, deceived both us and its own people many times. We must establish ties not with those who deceive us, but with those who pin their hopes on Russia and true Orthodoxy," Father Vsevolod said.
Later on Monday, the pickets continued in front of the Turkish Embassy; the protestors came there holding a poster with the text "Turkey, what do you need Russophobic Greeks for?"
"It is known that recently Phanar, which accuses some nations of nationalism and ethnophyletism, started speaking itself about some special nature of Hellenism and the Greek nature alongside its supporters in the renovationist Greek circles, effectively hinting at its superiority over the Slavs. Of course, it is quite an odd new practice," Chaplin said.
Christianity emerged not among the Greeks, but among the Jews, and began spreading among the Romans and some other nations later, he said. "At first, the Hellenic elites took Christianity, to put it mildly, distantly, and there were no Hellenes at least among those nations who were the first to convert to Christianity systematically. The entire doctrine of the Hellenic superiority is based on the fact that representatives of these people hogged the blanket of the Eastern Roman Empire at some time and began speaking on its behalf for some reasons," Father Vsevolod said.
In the modern Turkey, only the people of the Turkish and Slavic origins bless the Orthodox flock, they often hail from the countries of the former Soviet Union, he said. "It would be natural that representatives of those nations are the people to act as priests of their flock," he said.
"Why would Turkey, a very strong country, which is a friend of us, which has all rights to pursue an independent policy, want to have this fifth column of the Altantist forces that play out the directions of Brussels and Washington, especially as the Turkish Orthodox flock has nothing to do with those forces?" he said.