Saturday, July 16, 2005

Left and Right Attack The Greek Church

It seems that in Greece the Church must endure attacks from both wings of the same plane: Saturday July 16, 2005
The Church of Greece distanced itself yesterday from one of its own documents, which criticized opposition leader George Papandreou and the previous Socialist prime minister, Costas Simitis, saying it does not reflect the Church’s view.

Attached to the document, which was leaked to the press, was Archbishop Christodoulos’s business card. The document described the two senior PASOK leaders as rejecting whatever is Greek and being only interested in their international image.

Papandreou fired back at the comments by saying it was disgraceful that Archbishop Christodoulos was acting like the leader of a political party. The conservative New Democracy government also denounced the document yesterday.

Embarrassed by the incident, the Church said yesterday that Archbishop Christodoulos often receives political analyses from different sources but does not necessarily adopt them. Church officials also pointed out that the note was not signed by the archbishop.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

These two scrofoulous parties of the establishment are obsolete in the greek political scene. I am bemused that the Church has distanced itself from authoring such a document and lamely withdrawn like a puppy with its tail between its legs. Papandreu is an empty headed bulbous fake smile knave. The new democracy is loitered with individuals with ossified brains and sclerotic dispositions. What can we expect but further degradation and ignominy at the hands of these parasitic parties ? The political establishment behaves in no different fashion,with the nation, than the Dysticus larva does in a fish pond.The day must arrive when they disspear from our lives , flushed down a toilet bowl.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Hellenian said...

Although both major political parties (PASOK and New Democracy) are jointly attacking the Church (and not for the first time either), I'd be hesitant to describe this most recent attack as one originating from the "Left and Right".

PASOK could definitely be justifiably labelled a party of the Left for its staunchly Socialist social policies. The fact that PASOK's economic policies have nothing to do with Socialism might tempt one to label it "center-Left" but the party's rhetoric is thoroughly Leftist and, as such, negates any "centrist" (i.e. moderate) ideology.

New Democracy is hardly a party of the Right. In fact, New Democracy has even denied being a Rightist party and, instead, has chosen the moniker of "center-Right". However, even a Right-leaning moderate party would be expected to voice at least some sort of limited Conservatism. But any sort of Conservatism is absent from New Democracy. Their social policies are mirror images of PASOK's. The major difference between New Democracy and PASOK lie in their rhetoric. The lesser difference between New Democracy and PASOK is that PASOK is completely and overtly dedicated to marginalizing the Church whereas New Democracy prefers to take a less proactive role in diminishing the Church's influence.

As for Hellenic Front or People's Orthodox Rally being Rightist, they are anti-immigrationist parties for the most part. True, they are more conservative than New Democracy but that's not saying much. As far as I know, they have never publically denounced abortion and now they are showing tolerance to homosexuality.

I, too, am disappointed that the Church didn't take a stand and instead chose to back away. However, there is no hard evidence that the Church even authored this text. If the Church does receive political analyses from various sources, who is to say that this analysis was not one of dozens or even hundreds that was simply being examined by the hierarchy?

That Christodoulos' business card was said to be attached to it sounds extremely suspicious to me as well. I mean, what possible reason would Christodoulos have to place a business card on a document? I think it is a very fair statement to say that the mainstream Greek media is hostile towards the Church, less than reliable when it comes to reporting news objectively, and has sub-standard journalistic ethics. That this document was "leaked" to the press means there was probably someone on the inside and likely with ulterior motives. If this was indeed the case, it is so impossible to conceive the notion that this document was specifically chosen out of dozens and then tacked with the Archbishop's card?

Regardless of how and why this transpired, it may actually have done some good. If the Church wasn't completely sure about PASOK and New Democracy before, there can no longer be any doubt about their hostility towards the Church: New Democracy spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos has stated, "The [New Democracy] Government does not adopt the contents of that text, which it condemns"; PASOK leader George Papandreou accused Archbishop Christodoulos of acting "like a party chieftain"; and Maria Damanaki -- former member of the Communist Youth of Greece, anti-Junta activist, former Synaspismos president and member, and current member of Parliament under PASOK -- has promised to use the afore-mentioned document in Parliament to separate the Church and State and then introduce even greater secularism into Greece.

So now that the Church knows who its enemies are, perhaps they'll finally start to support nationalism instead of condemning it to win the support of the political establishment -- "support" which will never come.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Hellenic Nationalist said...

Hey Hellenian,

Thanks for the info on PASOK MP Maria Damanaki and her campaign against the Greek religion, her bio seems to point toward what I earlier said about Synaspismos, not only was she a President of that party she also was a Communist activist and anti-Junta activist. This also was the case with that other leader of Synaspismos, Nikos Konstantopoulos, he was an anti-Junta activist as well as a former PASOK official, and to add to this before the last major Greek elections I did come across a brochure from Synaspismos that had brief bios of all the officials they had running for election-- just about all of them had been members of the Communist Youth. It seems that the politicans for KKE ,PASOK and Synaspismos seem to just float back and forth amongst those three varying parliamentary factions. I guess former PM Simitis really meant it when he called the Synaspismos and KKE his "comrades" in Parliament, as I also mentioned here before. As you probably also already know, all three aforementioned parties have entered into political and parliamentary alliances with each other over the years, despite rhetoric to the contrary.

Speaking of are absolutely right that New Democracy does officially characterise itself as a "Center-Right" party, and not as a "Right" party. Considering this I should have put the moniker Left and Right in quotes, since both terms are quite absurd, which is the point I was trying to make with my plane and two wings, one left and one right, allegory.

The whole idea of left and right derives from the original parliamentary situation of the parliamentary seating position in France following their liberal and famous Revolution, that Greece has been trying to absurdly emulate. Sitting on the Left meant you supported the Revolution's liberal and Republican ideal and the further Left one was seated the closer one was to those ideals and the further away one was from the pre-Revolutionary order of the deposed Monarch and the former Catholic Hierarchial order in the case of Right the further right one was seated the closer one was to the old order surrounding the deposed King.

Since modern Greece was ruled by a Monarch until the Aprilist Revolution of 1967 and its aftermath, the Greek political arrangement tried to emulate this French example...Left was republican , the most illustrios modern example was the francophile Venizelos, no surprise he died in a self imposed exile in Paris and the Right symbolized the supporters of the King. And like all the Parliamentary democracies--the two major parties , under various names and various personas shadow boxed each other over the past two centuries , with smaller parties on the margins and expressing one extreme or the other of Left and Right, has much changed since then?

Well the major change is that since 1975 we no longer have a King. Yet PASOK and the other minor leftist parties confiscated his properties and banned him from Greece. They were and still are anti-King, so by this French definition they could be called "the Left" and New Democracy tends to be sweet toward our former King-- ND Prime Minister Mitsotakis invited the former King to visit Greece when ND dominated back in the early 1990s...these days with ND back in power i hear the former King is even going to get his properties back, how "Right" New Democracy,WOW! (sarcasm)

Both terms are quite meaningless for Greeks, they are all imports just like the entire parliamentary system and technically even our modern Kings.

7:20 AM  

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