Being an atheist is not a political criterion, is a spiritual, Metropolitan Anthimos of Alexandroupolis said yesterday in his sermon.
As he mentioned, «I do not consider all atheists as enemies – they are a missionary field and no Christian has the right to say, ‘This one believes in God and that one is an atheist.’ Who can say who is more faithful in here? Can I? I might be here just because of my profession. Can the officials of the city say it? Elections are coming up. Can you say it? I know how much faith there is in our city and what happens within the homes and the nightclubs of this city at night. Who can then brag about being more faithful than others? Only a hypocrite can do that […] Who can do it when Christ could see behind the eyes of sinful women? He saw their disposition and not what they were […]”.
At another point in his sermon, Anthimos asked (or wondered): “Do you want a Church that participates in the anathema of prime ministers, as in the case of Venizelos’ anathema in Athens, a few years ago? Do you want a Church that agrees with and supports the parties that govern? Think well before answering, for no one wants a Church that gets a say in economics, national and political affairs. Politicians never want it. And you, the people, do not want a Church that touches the party you belong to. You want a Church that does not affect your party […]”.
The aim of his sermon was to awaken the conscience of those who heard it. Furthermore, he added that sometimes the ecclesiastical discourse is being considered by a political criterion and that is wrong.
The Metropolitan believes that the key to success and prosperity of Greece is the unity under the pastoral care of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, there is no unity in the period in which we live.
He illustrated his statement with the example the Cappadocians who came to Greece leaving behind their possessions and preferring to bring with them liturgical objects, icons and holy relics such as those of St Demetrios of Cappadocia, whose memory was honored yesterday.
“Hellenism flourished every time that went hand in hand with Jesus Christ,” he said. He added that this combination was apparent during the Byzantine times, “the miracle that took the lead for 1,000 years all over the world”.
Finally, Metropolitan Anthimos stressed: “What have you learnt in school today? Do we consider Byzantium Greek? No we do not, because they did not teach us so. And if tomorrow some people claim it, then we will go out to protest on the streets and we will shout in rage that our names are stolen. We are the ones who give them away! We are the ones who throw them away! And these valuables are taken away with all due respect, and they appropriate them”.