Thursday, February 14, 2019

Jad Ganem: The Foot-Soldiers of Hellenism

Arabic original here.

The Foot-Soldiers of Hellenism

In a statement attributed to a representative of the abbots of the monasteries of Mount Athos taking part in a meeting of the governing council of the Holy Mountain a few days ago that was published on the Greek church news website Romfea, it is said that "Hellenism and the Ecumenical Patriarchate have the Primacy in Orthodoxy," that, as Athonite monks they will "remain on the side of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and [...] will not tolerate its humiliation," that "What is important is to maintain the unity of the Holy Monasteries and to send in every direction a clear message that no one will be allowed ‘to instrumentalize’ Mount Athos. Because Mount Athos concerns everyone," that they "want to preserve the peace and unity of the Church. However, as Athonites, we do not accept Hellenism and the Ecumenical Patriarchate to be humiliated by anyone," that "the Holy Community has wisdom and experience so that Mount Athos will not be turned into a tool and a lever of pressure for purposes other than in the general interest," and that "in all national struggles monks preceded to protect Mount Athos, not to put it in the front. Friars martyred protecting the Garden of the Virgin Mary! So, are we going to do the opposite today?" Given that no one has issued a disavowal of these words that many people are sharing and circulating on social media on account of their surprise at their content-- including the head of the newly-created Ukrainian church and eminent metropolitans of the Ecumenical Patriarchate-- we must calmly examine the content of these words which can be summarized as follows:

  • The Holy Mountain stands with the Ecumenical Patriarch whether he is right or wrong, whether he is faithful to the mind of Orthodoxy or deviates from it, whether he is oppressor or oppressed and thus it declares its faith in the infallibility of the Patriarch of Constantinople.
  • The Holy Mountain believes that the Hellenic nationality is superior to other nationalities that exist in the Orthodox world and that the position of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is a privileged position for members of this nationality alone.
  • The Holy Mountain believes that any difference in opinion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate or any rejection of unilateral decisions that it makes is a sort of humiliation for the Ecumenical Patriarch and for the nationality that he represents.
  • The Holy Mountain does not consider the crisis that Orthodoxy is currently going through to be an ecclesiastical crisis, but rather a nationalistic conflict and it states that it will fight it on this basis in order to protect the mountain.
  • The Holy Mountain believes that there are those who want to ensnare it and instrumentalize it in order to achieve an unspecified outside agenda and it will not permit this.
  • The Holy Mountain believes that there is a battle being waged against the Ecumenical Patriarch and Hellenism but it does not specify who is involved, the nature of the battle, its reasons, or the purposes intended behind it.
  • The Holy Mountain gives priority at the present moment to the unity of its monasteries. It desires to preserve the peace and unity of the Orthodox Church and for the Holy Mountain to remain the point of reference for all Orthodox, without explaining how it can harmonize realizing unity with its nationalistic and racist posturing.
Given the above, it has become clear that the Holy Mountain-- until a condemnation of what has been said is issued-- regards the Orthodox world being two worlds: Hellenic and non-Hellenic; and that any criticism, objection or questioning of decisions made by the Hellenic world is tantamount to a battle or a humiliation. It believes in the superiority of the Hellenic world over the other world and considers right belief to be wherever there is Hellenism, which has on Mount Athos its brave foot-soldiers.

These racist words, which fall under the ethnophyletism that the Church has condemned, are a sad reflection of mountains crumbling and so they must be read and understood well in Antioch, so that her children may know that they have no fixed destination apart from the Mount of the Transfiguration, by the light of whose Christ they may discern the lights scattered in the mountains and valleys.


Anonymous said...

Actually, ويعبرون على وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي عن إعجابهم بمضمونه is probably, "and express on social media their admiration for their content".
So I guess Jad Ghanem claims that Epiphany and eminent metropolitans of the Patriarchate of Constantinople share this statement with approval. Astonishing, but not that surprising given Bartholomew's own commitment to the primacy of the Greek nation in Orthodoxy...

Anonymous said...

That is in case there is really somebody called jad ganem...