The Archbishop of Albania Anastasios has urged the Greek people to resist the decadence and corruption that pervades all aspects of life today and learn to look at the reality of the Greek financial crisis candidly.
In an interview with Sunday’s issue of Kathimerini, Anastasios said that “the financial crisis did not come out of the sky like a parachute.”
“It is a consequence of behavior, a way of life of our people,” he said, adding that everyone is responsible for the situation in Greece as all “dipped their finger in the honey jar” in one way or another.
Apart from politicians and financial officials, Anastasios said that the rest of society must look at their own behavior as well.
“Serious self-criticism is lacking,” he said, adding that Greeks can’t blame foreigners for everything that is wrong. “All the people must engage in serious self-criticism and the role of the Church is to help in this,” he said.
“[Corruption] means lies, greed, egocentrism,” he said, adding that politicians, the media and financial officials are not the only ones who are afflicted by these ills.
“Don’t we find these in most homes?” he asked, before going on to say that the “sport” of tax evasion and pension fraud is also corruption.
“What I want to say is that we must learn to see reality as it is,” he said, urging people to adhere to the central Christian tenet of repentance.
With regard to growing calls for the Church’s modernization, Anastasios said there is no need as it does not intend to become an NGO.
“Water does not need to be modernized. The water that Homer and others drank is what we drink today. We won’t become more modern by drinking Coca-Cola,” he said.
Anastasios also expressed concern that in the 21th century, societies which have been treated unfairly by richer countries that are supposedly Christian will react under a religious banner.
“These [religious slogans] cannot be confronted with tanks and airplanes,” he said.