Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and all Greece, who today visited Evros, referred to the “difficult times” and the “contradictory issues” we are dealing with at the church of St. George in Kastanies.
Referring to the migrants and refugees who have been trying to enter the country illegally from neighboring Turkey since Friday, the Archbishop spoke of people who “waged wars, are in pain and under perverse guidance; they are people who have souls and we empathize with them” but at the same time “they are people who are being exploited right now, live in a quest, are being mocked, ridiculed and humiliated.”
He clarified that “we have no problem with these people, we are not against them, we sympathize with them […] we do not hate them, we feel sorry for them, but we are not the ones who must tolerate anything, at the expense of our homeland,” recalling the help that the Church has provided them in the recent past.
He once again expressed his gratitude and wishes to the security forces working to guard the border, stressing: “Here is the border not only of Greece but also of Europe, and at this time they should be at that border too, it shouldn’t be just you; our European friends, our partners and allies should also be here, because together we had to support our border. They are sacred, they have been watered with blood, so we must arm ourselves for their sake,” he said.
He acknowledged that many efforts are being made, wondering what Europe is doing. “The state is making its own efforts, but what worries us is what is Europe doing? It worries us. We don’t want money. It is good to help in difficult times, but what we want is Europe to defend the causes that have created her, the values that she should support and honor.”
The Primate of the Church of Greece also emphasized the need, at this time, to be united, to become one body in order to face this storm.