The THREE confessions of 1935

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The THREE confessions of 1935

Post by Isaakos »

1935 Confession to the State Church of Greece
Another 1935 Confession of Faith

"To the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece

It is well known among the members of the Hierarchy of Greece that we have always been opposed to its views regarding the substitution of ecclesiastical calendar for the civil calendar.

Even while we did conform to the resolution of the majority of the Hierarchy, implementing even in our own dioceses the new calendar, we justified our conformity on two grounds: a) in order to avoid the consequences of a schism in the Church, and b) in the hope that the Hierarchy would grow to be compassionate enough to restore the old Ecclesiastical festal calendar in order to heal the division that has developed among the Christians, sacrificing even personal reputations in love for the faithful for whom Christ died.

But with the passage of twelve years, seeing that, on the one hand, an ecclesiastical schism was not avoided even without us, but was, nevertheless, created by a large portion of the Orthodox Greek people that remained faithful—with much zeal—to the festal calendar bequeathed to it by the Fathers, and, on the other hand, the fact that the Hierarchy has no intentions of restoring itself to the festal path from which it was displaced, we consider the grounds on which, until now, we based our conformity to the new calendar, through ecclesiastical economy, as obsolete.

Thus, acting according to our conscience and guided by our desire for the unity of all Greek Orthodox Christians on the basis of the tradition of the festal calendar and Orthodox tradition, we inform you of the following:

Because the Hierarchy of Greece, through the inspiration of the Presiding [Hierarch] , unilaterally and uncanonically introduced the Gregorian calendar into the Church despite the institutions of the seven Ecumenical Councils and the centuries old practice of the Orthodox Church;

Because the Ruling Hierarchy (Διοικούσα Ιεραρχία) of Greece, through its introduction of the Gregorian calendar into the divine ritual without the consent of all the Orthodox Churches, shattered the unity of the universal Orthodox Church and divided the Christians into two opposing calendar factions;

Because the Ruling Hierarchy of Greece, through its adoption of the new calendar transgressed the sacred and holy Canons, which order the matters of the divine ritual, and particularly the fast of the Holy Apostles, which periodically disappears [as a result of the reform];

Because the Ruling Hierarchy of Greece in unilaterally adopting the Gregorian calendar—as much as it claims to have left the Paschal cycle unchanged, claiming to celebrate Pascha with the old calendar—could not avoid transgressing the Paschal cycle through the change of the festal calendar and the corruption of the yearly cycle of Lectionary readings (Κυριακοδρόμιον) to which the Paschal cycle adopted by the First Ecumenical Council is inseparably connected;

Because the Ruling Hierarchy of Greece, shattering the unity of universal Orthodoxy through the unilateral introduction of the Gregorian calendar into the divine ritual and dividing the Christians into two opposing calendar factions, has contradicted the doctrine embodied in the Symbol of the Faith of the“One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church”;

Because the Ruling Hierarchy of Greece, in unilaterally and uncanonically adopting the Gregorian calendar without serious Ecclesiastical reasons, became a source of scandal among the Christians [and] a cause of religious division and strife between Christians, rejecting, on account of the new calendar, the unity in the faith, Christian love, and moral compassion in their relations between each other;

Because, last of all among the above listed reasons, the Ruling Hierarchy of Greece cut and walled itself off from the catholic body of Orthodoxy, according to the spirit of the Holy Canons, effectively declaring itself schismatic, as argued the special committee of National University legal scholars and theologians appointed to examine the calendar question, a member of which His Beatitude happened to be, serving then as a university professor;

For these reasons, in submitting to the Ruling Synod our annotated protest we make known that from henceforth, we sever all relations and ecclesiastical communion with the [Ruling Hierarchy] for as long as it maintains the calendar innovation, taking up the Ecclesiastical pastorship of the section of the Orthodox Greek people, organized in numerous communities, that renounced the State Church and remained faithful to the Patristic and Orthodox Julian calendar.

Bringing these things to the attention of the Ruling Hierarchy, in good faith we hope that, understanding the great responsibility that it bears before God, the Orthodox Church, and the Nation which it divided into two opposing religious factions without cause, the Ruling Hierarchy will reconsider its resolution regarding the calendar of the Church and will be moved to compassion and restore the Orthodox, Patristic, Ecclesiastical festal calendar, while the new calendar is kept in the affairs of the state, for the restoration of Orthodoxy and the peace of the Church and the Nation.

+ Metropolitan Germanos of Demetrias
+ Metropolitan Chrysostom of Florina, ret.
+ Metropolitan Chrysostom of Zachynthos

1935 Confession to the GREEK People Before Their Trial
Pastoral Encyclical, 1935

To the pious Orthodox Greek people,
The Faith of our Fathers is at trial. The enemies – and many are cunning – lurk outside the National and Ecclesiastical bastions. They who betray the precious treasure of our National and Religious ideology and cast their eyes away from the valuable pearl of Orthodoxy make use of every treachery and machination to demolish the unshakeable bulwarks of our National and Ecclesiastical glory and repute. Materialists, Communists, Chiliasts [i.e., Jehovah’s Witnesses], Theosophists, Masons, and other manifold internal and external enemies, undermine the unshakeable and unbreakable bulwarks of our National and Ecclesiastical constitution and indestructible power.
These insolent and cunning enemies, due to the tolerance of the State and the inactivity of the Church, succeeded in penetrating into all of the levels of Greek Society. These effluent haters of our National and Ecclesiastical ideology, attempt, under the guise of progress and individual freedom, to corrupt the National and Ecclesiastical conscience of Greek Society. Thus we ring the warning bells.
Greek Orthodox civilians, awaken, be alert in regards to the unyielding forefront of the Nation and the Church, so that these guile‐minded and manifold enemies do not dissipate the valuable treasure of our ancestral and glorious heritage. Do not be sluggish; do not be afraid of imprisonment for the sake of defending the endangered Orthodox Faith, and the National Traditions which are everywhere undermined.
The enemies are many and resourceful. The Church’s institutions are unprotected, the Ecclesiastical bulwarks are defenseless, the National Traditions are ignored, the National ideals are under persecution.
And on the contrary, the soul‐destroying teachings of the Materialists and the subversive doctrines of the Communists are methodical and persistent. The poisonous and growing net of the different antinational and antireligious propagandas choke the very heart of the Nation and Church.
The poisonous and malodorous fumes of faithlessness, of materialism, destructive selfishness, fill the atmosphere of Greece to the point of suffocation.
Unfortunately, the alleged resistance is inconclusive, the defense of the Ecclesiastical institutions and National traditions is lifeless and listless, the struggle against the disease‐causing germs, that corrode our National and Ecclesiastical organism, is powerless and useless.

For this reason, the ramparts of our National ideology and the bulwarks of Orthodoxy began, one after the other, to fall to the torrential and precipitous irrepressibility of our opponents.
The appointed leaders and guardians for the defense of our National and Ecclesiastical Traditions, are faint‐hearted and do not have the courage or guts to resist head on. The resistance and defense cannot be obtained without a national pulse and loyalty to the ideals of the homeland and the religion. We require that national and religious zeal that our fathers had, with which they glorified the Church and Nation.
The leaders of the Nation and the Church should have that Greek genius and that religious pulse, by which the Orthodox Greek race increased in works, being reborn in the baptismal font of Hellenic Christian culture. Yes, faith is needed in struggles; we need moral solidity; we need spiritual courage; an iron will, bravery, and unshakable hope, are necessary for the success of the struggle. These are all qualifications that are created by faith in the ideals of the homeland and the religion.
But the appointed guardians of the Ecclesiastical ramparts, lacking faith and moral courage, not only fail to show the required resistance against the opponents, not only fail to dig new trenches that are able to compete against the contemporary polemics, but they also, with a completely clear conscience, raze to the ground whatever the veteran strugglers built through our National and Ecclesiastical Traditions. An example is the recently disposed citadel of the Traditional Patristic Calendar, which, like an unbreakable barrier, appreciably separated the Orthodox from the heretics and infidels.
The cunning enemies of Orthodoxy tried many times to destroy this defensive bastion, but they kicked towards centers. This is because they always had to confront the Doorkeepers and Housemaster of the Church, sleeplessly watching over the unyielding bastions of Orthodoxy.
Indeed, the Fathers of the Church were themselves not unaware of theory in which the Gregorian calendar was considered more perfect, time‐wise, than the Julian. Yet they never ceased defending the Traditional Patristic Calendar! This is because they honored the tradition of the Seven Ecumenical Councils and the perpetual practice of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Inasmuch as the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council interlocked the Julian calendar with the Paschal Canon, the Orthodox Festal Calendar, and the Sunday Cycle of Gospel Readings, it served as a component of Divine worship and a unifying link between universal Orthodoxy, as well as an irremovable bastion against heresy and infidelity.

Yet this irremovable bastion was shattered without a fight, and not by the age‐old enemies of Orthodoxy, but by those appointed as its guardians, the Ecclesiastical Doorkeepers and Housemasters.
For this reason, the current administrators of the Church of Greece, breaking apart the unity of Orthodoxy through the calendar innovation, and dividing the Orthodox Greek nation into two opposing calendar parties, did not only break the Ecclesiastical Tradition that was instilled by the Seven Ecumenical Councils and ratified by the age‐old practice of the Eastern Orthodox Church, but they also broke the dogma regarding the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Thus, the current administrators of the Church of Greece, by their unilateral, uncanonical, and irresponsible introduction of the Gregorian calendar, tore themselves off from the entire body of Orthodoxy, and declared themselves in essence [κατ’ οὐσίαν] schismatics compared to the other Orthodox Churches, which stand upon the ground of the Seven Ecumenical Councils and the Orthodox institutions and traditions, and upon the Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Serbia, Poland, the Holy Mountain [of Athos], the God‐trodden Mt. Sinai, etc.
That these things are so, is also confirmed by the excellent lawyers, theologians and professors of the National University, when it appointed a committee to study the calendar issue, and one of the members happened to be the [current] Archbishop of Athens, [Chrysostom Papadopoulos], who at that time was a Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the National University.
Here is what that Committee stated regarding the calendar issue: “All the Orthodox Churches, even if they are Autocephalous in their internal administration, do not fall apart because they are united to each other through the Dogmas and Synodical Decrees and Canons...No Orthodox Autocephalous Church can separate itself from the rest and accept the new calendar without becoming schismatic in the eyes of the others.” Accordingly, since His Beatitude, the Archbishop of Athens, through his own signature, declares himself a schismatic, what further need do we have of witnesses, so that we can prove that he and his like‐minded hierarchs have made themselves schismatics, by breaking apart the unity of Orthodoxy through the innovation of the calendar, and splitting the Ecclesiastical and National soul of the Orthodox Greek people?
This same Beatitude, in one of his works regarding the calendar issue, commenting on one of the epistles of Ecumenical Patriarch Jeremias II, says the following: “The letter of Patriarch Jeremias II indicates in an excellent manner the position which the Orthodox Church immediately took against the Gregorian modification of the calendar. The Church considered it yet another of the many innovations of Old Rome, a universal scandal, and an arbitrary affront to the Synodical Canons and Constitutions. The reform of the calendar is not only a matter of astronomy but also pertains to the Church... Hence, the Pope had no right to reform the calendar, [for in so doing] he proved that he esteems himself superior to the Ecumenical Councils. Consequently, the Orthodox Church has not been in favour of the reform of the calendar...”
Apart from these violations of the canons, there are also important moral issues, which stem from that very Archdiocese, requiring the cleansing of the clergy of every rank, for the elevation of the workers of the Church and the increase of the prestige of the Orthodox Greek Church.
Therefore, we leave it up to the Orthodox Greek people, to judge whether His Beatitude, the Archbishop, disagrees with himself, and whether or not he tramples the Orthodox Constitutions and Sacred Canons, and whether or not he is fit to be the President of the Orthodox Greek Church, the highest feature and the most glorious post, which is meant to protect the Orthodox Christian and National ideology.
We always disagreed with this innovation of the calendar, but we submitted to the decision of the majority of the hierarchy by ecclesiastical economy, on the one hand, so as to prevent an ecclesiastical schism, and on the other hand, because we had the hope that the Hierarchy, wanting to prevent the division of its flock, would have hastened to return to the Orthodox calendar cycle.
But since the schism was caused even without us, in the realms of the Church, between the Orthodox Christians themselves who became divided because of the new calendar, and since the Hierarchy after an entire twelve‐year period, not only did not take heed to return to the Orthodox calendar for the sake of the unity of the flock and the pacification of the Church, but it also persecuted the Old Calendarists!
Therefore, we were compelled by the suggestion of our consciences, to declare to His Beatitude, the Archbishop, that we sever every communion with him, because he is a Schismatic even according to his own confession, and we make a fervent petition to the portion of the Greek people who accepted the new calendar in good faith, thinking that this is not contrary to Orthodoxy, as was declared by the innovative Archbishop of Athens in the past, that they too denounce the Gregorian calendar, as unorthodox, and let us trumpet out to the Schismatic Archbishop, the words of wise Joseph Bryennius: “We shall never renounce Thee, O beloved Orthodoxy! We shall never be untrue to thee, O revered tradition of the Fathers! We shall never forsake thee, O Mother Piety! In Thee were we born; and in Thee do we live; and in Thee shall we repose. And if the times require, we shall die ten thousand times for Thee!”

+ Germanus of Demetrias
+ Chrysostom, formerly of Florina
+ Chrysostom of Zacynth

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The 1935 Confession of Faith, After Their False Trial

Unjustly condemned by the schismatic synod to deposition and a five-year imprisonment in monasteries, and seized by force by the government (which has become the executory arm of the [New Calendar] Archdiocese, which by a mere word has placed itself above the divine canons, the [Church’s] Charter, and the Constitution of Greece) because we had the courage and the spiritual strength to raise the glorious and venerable banner of Orthodoxy, we consider it our pastoral duty before we depart [for prison] to direct the following admonitions to you that adhere to the Orthodox festal calendar of our fathers:

While faithfully following the Apostle’s admonition, “Stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or by our letter,” do not cease from struggling by every lawful and Christian means for the strengthening and triumph of our sacred struggle, which looks to the restoration of the patristic and Orthodox festal calendar within the Church; only this can re-establish the diminished Orthodox authority of the Greek Church and bring back the peace and unity of the Orthodox Greek people.

By the judgments which the Lord knows, the majority of the hierarchy of the Greek Church, under the influence and initiative of its president, has placed the blot of schism upon what up until now had been its pure and truly Orthodox countenance, when it rejected the Orthodox festal calendar — which has been consecrated by the Seven Ecumenical Councils and ratified by the age-long practice of the Orthodox Eastern Church — and replaced it with the Papal Calendar.

Of course, this schism of the Orthodox Greek people was created by the majority of the hierarchy, which forgot its sacred and national mission and the old Greek [revolutionary] slogan: “Fight for Orthodoxy and for Greek liberty,” and which, without the agreement of all the Orthodox Churches, introduced the Papal festal calendar into our divine worship, thereby dividing not only the Orthodox Churches, but also the Orthodox Christians into two opposing camps.

In assuming the pastorship of the Orthodox Greek populace that follows the Orthodox festal calendar of our fathers, and being conscious of the oath of faith that we took that we would keep all that we have received from the Seven Ecumenical Councils, we abjure every innovation and cannot but proclaim as schismatic the State Church, which has accepted the Papal festal calendar which has been described by Pan-Orthodox Councils as an innovation of the heretics, as a global scandal and as an arbitrary trampling underfoot of the Divine and Sacred Canons of the ecclesiastical traditions.

On account of this, we counsel all who follow the Orthodox festal calendar to have no spiritual communion with the Schismatic Church and its schismatic ministers, from whom the Grace of the All-holy Spirit has departed, since they have set at nought the resolutions of the Fathers of the Seven Ecumenical Councils and all the Pan-Orthodox Councils that condemned the Gregorian festal calendar. The fact that the Schismatic Church does not have grace and the Holy Spirit is confirmed by Saint Basil the Great, who says: “Even though the schismatics have not erred in doctrines, yet because Christ is the Head of the Body of the Church according to the divine Apostle, and from Him are all the members quickened and receive spiritual increase, the [schismatics] have been torn from the consonance of the members of the Body and no longer have the grace of the Holy Spirit abiding with them. And how, indeed, can they impart to others that which they have not?”

While the Schismatic Church imposes oppressive and intolerable measures in order to violate our Orthodox conscience, we exhort you to endure all things and to preserve the Orthodox heritage intact and unstained, even as we received it from our pious Fathers, having us as luminous and fortifying examples, seeing we were not afraid — even in the waning years of our lives — to withstand with boldness and dignity the bigoted and medieval measures of our exile and imprisonment in monasteries, as it were in prisons.

Esteeming this as honor and glory and joy, according to the Apostle, who enjoins us to rejoice and boast in our sufferings in behalf of Christ, we counsel you also to have endurance and persistence in these grief’s, and afflictions, and evils, and outrages to which you will be subjected by a Church that is Schismatic; and ever hope in God, Who will not permit that you be tried above what you are able to endure, and Who, in His infinite and unfathomable long-suffering, will be well-pleased to enlighten those who, out of innocence, have been led astray and follow the Papal festal calendar; and in the end may He grant you the triumph of Orthodoxy and the unity of those who bear the name of Christ, the Orthodox Greek people, for whom we struggle to the glory of Christ, Whose grace and infinite mercy be with you all.

June 21, 1935
+Germanos of Demetrias
+Chrysostom , formerly of Florina
+Germanos of the Cyclades Islands

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Blessed is the man who has volunteered to hold and keep until the end of his life our holy Orthodox faith, the faith of the one Church of Christ and our mother, the Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Archbishop Matthew Karpathakis
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Re: The THREE confessions of 1935

Post by jgress »

Thank you.
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