OPINION

An unholy row…

Apart from the nationalist or personality-focused zealotry which unfortunately characterizes much of the Christian population, the overwhelming majority of the populace is unable to comprehend the ever-intensifying conflict between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Greece. This reached such a peak a few days ago that some are even making reference to the danger of a schism. There is no doubt that the tension created in relations between the Patriarchate and the Archbishopric cannot be doing the Orthodox Church any good but is rather trivializing its worth. But for the normal citizen, the religious faithful or the agnostic who acknowledge the right of others to believe, this entire conflict makes no sense. References to canons and acts from the previous century which took place within an entirely different set of circumstances – far removed from today’s globalized world – sound like falsehoods, pretexts, and screens concealing special interests that bear no relation whatsoever to what people understand by «Church» and «faith.» Indeed, how many rational Greek citizens in the year 2004 can grasp the notion that Macedonia, Epirus, Thrace, the Dodecanese, and so on comprise the New Territories which are the «spiritual» property of a senior cleric based outside Greece?