Voices from Russia

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Is the “all-Orthodox Sobor” a Hairsbreadth Away from Failure? Bulgarian Patriarch Will Only Take Part if ALL Canonical First Hierarchs Participate in the Synaxis

00 Patriarch Kirill w patriarch neofit of bulgaria. 01.06.14

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In Genève, from 21 to 28 January 2016, a Congress (Synaxis) of the First Hierarchs of the Local Orthodox Churches supposedly will prepare the final agenda for a so-called “all-Orthodox Sobor”, awaited for about a century in certain Church (especially modernist) circles. However, differences amongst the local Orthodox Churches, the refusal of certain First Hierarchs to take part in the Synaxis to prepare the “all-Orthodox Sobor”, and more importantly, the fervent prayers of believers, following the teachings of Holy Fathers and Confessors of the 20th century condemning the putative Sobor as apostasy, could lead to a complete breakdown of the meeting, since all decisions at the Sobor and the Synaxis would be via consensus, and if any of the First Hierarchs were absent, that would render that impossible.

On 12 January 2016, the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Sofia and all Bulgaria referred to the principle of consensus in making a number of conditions specifying their conditions for allowing Patriarch Neofit Dimitrov to take part in the meeting in Genève. In particular, the Synod stated that the lack of an agenda for the Synaxis and the likely presence at the said meeting of uncanonical representatives of the PCČZS/PCČKS (Orthodox Church of Czechia and Slovakia) is unacceptable. Apparently, they mean the so-called “Archbishop” Simeon Jakovlevič of Olomouc and Brno (supported by the EP), the pretender to the seat of First Hierarch Metropolitan Rastislav Gont of Prešov. Moreover, the Bulgarian Holy Synod declared the fundamental importance of the principle of consensus in the coming Synaxis, and that such consensus could only exist if the all the First Hierarchs of the Local Orthodox Churches are present.

In this connection, the Bulgarian Synod ruled that the Patriarch Neofit could only take part in the Genève meeting if “the Patriarch and the Holy Synod promptly receive the agenda of the meeting and if all outstanding disputes receive resolution before convoking the meeting in Chambésy”. Besides this, on 15 January, the Church of Athens and all Greece decided definitively that Archbishop Ieronymos Liapis wouldn’t take part in the upcoming Synaxis, sending instead a delegation consisting of Metropolitans Germanos Paraskevopoulos of Elis and Oleni, Chrysostomos Zafyris of Peristeri, and Chrysostomos Savvatos of Messinia. Orthodox media reported that amongst the reasons for this decision was pressure put on Archbishop Ieronymos… including political pressure… by the EP from the moment it became known that the First Hierarch of the Church of Greece wouldn’t be at this meeting.

17 January 2016

Inform Religia

http://www.inform-relig.ru/news/detail.php?ID=11333

Thursday, 12 March 2015

SYRIZA to Keep Paying Clergy Salaries

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On Thursday, the government said there are no plans for the state to stop paying clergy salaries, adding that the Church of Greece also pays its fair share of taxes. Alternate Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas said when questioned about whether taxpayers would continue to cover clergy salaries, “There’s no such issue”. Mardas commented after meeting Archbishop Ieronymos Liapis of Athens, the First Hierarch of the Church of Greece. Vladyki Ieronymos said, “The paying of clergy wages is the reciprocal duty of the state as the Church has handed over its property to the state as part of this arrangement. The Church is taxed properly; maybe, even more than some other bodies”. The General Secretary for Religious Affairs, Georgios Kalantzis, issued a statement backing up Ieronymos on both issues. He said that the state reduced clergy salaries during the crisis by the same amount as other public-sector workers and that the Church pays taxes on revenues and property like other organisations. He added that only places of worship, and sites used for charitable work, such as retirement homes and soup kitchens, are exempt from property tax.

5 March 2015

Kathimerini

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_05/03/2015_547931

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Archbishop Ieronymos Against Plan for Sunday Opening for Shops

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On Tuesday, Archbishop Ieronymos Liapis, the First Hierarch of the Church of Greece, joined the debate over whether retail stores should open on Sunday. The government put to public consultation a draft law that’d allow some stores to open on Sundays. Archbishop Ieronymos expressed concern about the plans, saying, “We’re constantly focused on numbers and we forget our souls. When will traders see their children, when will they see their families, when will they rest and gather strength?” Ieronymos spoke to journalists after holding a meeting with Minister of Labour, Social Security, and Welfare  Yiannis Vroutsis to discuss the Church’s social work.

11 December 2012

Kathimerini

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_11/12/2012_473974

 

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Archbishop Ieronymos Liapis Sez: “Greeks aren’t Cheats”

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On Monday, the Church of Greece indicated that the debt-wracked nation was being stereotyped, whilst urging greater solidarity among the states of the European Union. Archbishop Ieornymos Liapis, the First Hierarch of the Church of Greece, said during a meeting of world Church leaders in Athens, “Greeks aren’t cheats or lazy”. Ieronymos also condemned a recent attack on the German Consul in Thessaloniki, but went on to voice scepticism about Berlin’s role in the Eurozone debt crisis, saying, “My question is simple… is this a fight for a European Germany or for a German Europe?”

19 November 2012

Kathimerini

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_19/11/2012_470689

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