Greek language must be protected, says patriarch


Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios has called upon Greeks to safeguard their national language as one of the world’s most valuable cultural goods.

Speaking to a group of professors and students from Greece and Cyprus at an international student literature conference in Istanbul on Sunday, Vartholomaios said that the decision in the early 1980s to ditch the purist form known as Katharevousa in favor of Demotic or common Greek, might have facilitated students but did the language an injustice.

“I insist and appeal to and advise teachers… to place particular emphasis on the teaching of the Greek language,” he told the conference which was dedicated to postwar Greek writer Antonis Samarakis.