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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 honoured 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 Zakynthos

1935 PASTORAL ENCYCLICAL OF THE GENUINE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF GREECE BEFORE THE FALSE TRIAL OF THE THREE BISHOPS