Letter to the Romans

The ongoing dispute between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Greece – the first collateral damage being the feud within the ranks of the Holy Synod – is tarnishing the image of both sides in the eyes of the faithful. Even though the flock – a flock in a state of confusion on a vessel tossed about due to the madness of its captains – knows that religious history is as violent as is secular history, it still finds it hard to endorse the makeshift arguments invoked on both sides to mobilize or to forgive. Hearing the sharp remarks that are exchanged immediately after calls for reconciliation, one realizes that no matter how loudly or sweetly we utter them, words are not for telling the truth but for distorting it. One also realizes that even those age-old Commandments themselves have withered, honorable though they may seem. In his letter to the Romans, Paul says: «Let us follow after things which make for peace and things by which we may build one another up.» And later on Paul adds: «Therefore, let us not judge one another any more, but rather determine this – not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.» These are wonderful words, yet homeless and orphaned, vulnerable to sarcasm. For what do the deeds of highly politicized priests and remarks like those that were recently made by Archbishop Christodoulos – who said that he «prefers war to a shameful peace» – have to do with the commandments that they have dedicated their lives to serving? And, at the end of the day, how important is the question of who will get to administer a legacy that has been tainted, degraded and slandered?