Like father, like son

Religions are about eternity, thus they have their own sense of time. Accordingly, churches have their own priorities. In the eyes of most among the laity – who are angry over recent developments whatever their relationship to the Church – the spiritual leadership of the Orthodox Church, the archbishop of Athens and the Ecumenical patriarch, were late in expressing their disappointment over the all-too-secular habits of the «holy» men in charge of the Vatopedi Monastery. When they finally did express it, they did not quite seem to share the public sentiment. In fact, they chose to use a language so full of generalizations that their meaning got lost in a sea of thoughts about the human condition. Moreover, the message was said in such an abstract and ancient-sounding language that one cannot be sure whether it was aimed at obscuring or illuminating things. Vartholomaios said in Ancient Greek that Ephraim would be relieved of his administrative and managerial duties (there was no word about his spiritual ones) «ahri kairou» (for as long as it takes). But they both know that the phrase does not mean much – or, rather, that it can mean many different things. The world «kairos» means opportunity or right moment. But apart from denoting opportunism, the word also implies gain – a concept that the monks appear perfectly accustomed to. We have no reason to hope that our political leaders will prove any more sincere than our spiritual leaders. The misguided ministers of New Democracy and PASOK who are expected to testify before Parliament’s investigating committee this week will hardly appear any less ambiguous or opportunistic. Like – spiritual – father, like son. And we cannot expect students to outclass their teachers.