OPINION

Commentary

As with every word, the Scriptures, despite the shield provided them by their depiction as God-given, are isolated and defenseless texts. Anyone (even more those who bear the title of their guardian and observer) can easily quote excerpts which suit them on any specific occasion, distort them, subject them to their schemes and, finally abuse them. In the history of religions, in the history of humanity, holy verses have often acquired the rigidity of stone and the sharpness of the sword in order to, supposedly, help resolve spiritual disputes or to establish authorities and hierarchies who are well aware that the only meaningful power is the secular, the earthly power. Recently, for example, the archbishop who insists on Christianizing a country which is already a Christian one and on turning churches into bulwarks of television-based consumption, extracted a verse from Paul’s Epistles and – aiming to intimidate – denounced as anathema and worthy of excommunication those who have no love for Jesus. His words would be accurate if he admitted that no priest’s or layman’s statement that he loves Jesus is enough to conclude that one is dealing with a man who is faithful in a humble and genuine fashion. Besides, anyone who has studied Paul in depth should know that his call only behave ye worthy of the gospel of Christ requires something much more substantial than the hypocrisy of crossing oneself, more substantial than the bombastic albeit cost-free imitation of devoutness. Paul urged Timothy to avoid the empty talk that profanes the truth, but the prelate in haste neglected, if not ignored him. At least, Cosmas the Aetolian was right on this one, as he forecast that the time will come when the Church will be thrown into peril by its own people. It was very difficult for them to find me because of the weather conditions, but the flares from the aircraft gave me courage, Dimitropoulos said. When he realized that he would not be spotted, he began to swim for shore, buoyed up by his life vest. He had suffered only a slight injury to his chin and was back home yesterday afternoon.