Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s

Speaking on the issue of foreign policy, the archbishop of Athens was right to repeat the quote attributed to Jesus: «Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s.» Archbishop Ieronymos’s comments were made in the wake of a nationalist outburst by the leader of the Orthodox Church of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), who went as far as to suggest that Greece’s northern city of Thessaloniki is FYROM’s heartland. Ieronymos’s reserved response marked a precious intervention for our country. First of all, the Greek Church has made a strong display of its religious ethos. Unlike the schismatic church of Skopje, it abides by the teachings of the Gospel. Foreign policy has no need of theological underpinnings. It is shaped by the elected political leaders of each country, and in that sense it depends on popular will. Nationalist sound bites do poor service – both to the church as well as the nation.