Ιn a speech to the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece, Metropolitan Gabriel of Nea Ionia and Philadelphia referred to the great responsibility not only of the governments but also of the Church for the “time bomb” in the foundations of the country called the demographic problem.
In Metropolitan Gabriel’s speech to nearly 80 Metropolitans, there was a dose of self-criticism on the responsibilities of both Church and state. Metropolitan Gabriel stressed, “The demographic problem could become irreversible and is the biggest problem of modern Greece, threatening not only our national independence and our territorial integrity but also the future of our nation.”
“Day after day, we are witnesses to our national suicide, and we must take steps to stop the continuing demographic decline of our nation,” he said.
The Metropolitan of Nea Ionia and Philadelphia spoke of “a spiritual and moral crisis, a crisis of values and ideals, a crisis of institutions but above all a crisis of hope and vision. “It is no use turning a blind eye to this. Our spiritual decline has been and is the main cause of the current situation we are experiencing as a people, nation, individuals, Church. Unfortunately, the absence of an overall vision is the central feature of modern Greece. Without vision, there is no will. Without will, there is no determination, no courage and inspiration,” he added.
The role of the Church
According to Metropolitan Gabriel, the causes of low birth rate run deeper, and they are related to the lack of spirituality or even spiritual illness of the people. “That is the great responsibility of the Church,” he noted.
“Unfortunately today, the consequences are now evident; we lost contact with the people. That is why people, especially the young, do not get involved in the Church as much as we would have liked. They do not know us because we no longer speak their language. We have spoken many times of our canonical rights, but not of our canonical responsibilities,” said the Metropolitan.