Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens Believes that a Threatened Ban Against Crucifixes in Italian Schools is a Dangerous Precedent for all of Europe

Archbishop Ieronymos Liapis (1938- ) of Athens and all Greece, First Hierarch of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Greece

Archbishop Ieronymos Liapis of Athens and all Greece considers a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg banning crucifixes in Italian schools a dangerous precedent for European countries, including Greece. He intends to convene an extraordinary Synod next week, with the stated agenda of preparing a plan of action in connection with this decision. Archbishop Ieronymos called on Catholics in Italy to actively oppose “this threat to Christian symbols” and oppose those judges “who ignore the role of Christianity in the formation of European identity”. “Majorities also have rights”, he said in an interview with the Vatican’s official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

On 3 November, the European Court of Human Rights banned the display of crucifixes in Italian public schools in response to a claim filed by Finnish-born Soile Lautsi. Ms Lautsi complained that the Christian symbols in school prevent her children from receiving a secular education. The Italian government announced its intention to appeal the verdict of the court. When the Vatican learned of the decision of the European Court of Justice, it expressed “surprise and regret”. In turn, Igumen Philaret Bulekov, the Representative of the MP to the Council of Europe, stated to our Interfax-Religion correspondent that, as a result of this verdict, “Europe may face social destabilisation, and see the emergence of dispute and heated discussion on issues that previously did not cause conflict in society”.

18 November 2009



Editor’s Note:

Now, THIS is what Orthodox can cooperate on with folk from other religions. In fact, we better step up and speak out… otherwise, we deserve everything that the materialists would throw at us. It doesn’t take an advanced degree to figure out that all people of good sense have common interests in the fight against materialistic hedonism, Newspeak, and Positive Thinking. Don’t get it wrong… it isn’t a fight between religion and secularism. Hell, it doesn’t touch theology at all, really. It’s a matter of standing up to nasty judges, their parvenu apologists, and power-hungry bureaucrats… if an atheist wishes to stand on our side of the barricades, more power to ‘em, I say. It’s a fight for the right to be ornery and feisty individuals against a power-hungry Orwellian state and an absurdly conformist Kafkaesque collective… you don’t have to be Orthodox to know that!

I’ve read in other sources on how all the guineas are getting good and riled at this court ruling and are saying that it’s a blow against their Italian heritage and identity. GREAT! I hope that Guido, Little Tony, Big Dom, and Fat Vinnie catch those judges and have a chance to teach ‘em the error of their ways! I’ll clue ya in on a secret… Spiros, Alex, Nikos, and Volodya are hiding behind the next corner to rubber-hose ‘em after the Italian blokes are through… it looks like a good fight. Let’s get in on it so that the good guys win. In the deathless words of Gimli the Dwarf, “Certainty of death. Small chance of success. What are we waiting for?” YEE-HAW!

As Gandalf put it so well, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil”. Yes… there are other forces at work… but, we have to rouse ourselves to action for them to triumph.

I’ll even pour a good stiff drink for all concerned afterwards…



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