We do not have the right to change our faith for the sake of a wrongly understood love
The smacking answer of Metropolitan Jeremiah of Gortyna and Megalopolis to the answer against him in the “Gortyna” newspaper finds again a proper moment to use the sword against the papists and the joint prayers with them. He remarkably mentions that: “The fact that we have to love all the people from all over the worlds and even sacrifice ourselves for them it does not mean that we have to join our true orthodox faith with the deception of heretics and of wrong believers.” He shook the auditorium especially when he invoked the words of Saint Euthymius of Dimitsana: “Stub the knife deeper! I will not deny my faith and love for Christ!”.
But here is the whole answer:
Iakovation 57, Athens
Honorable Mr Anastopule,
Rejoice may you be healthy!
- I would really be a squarehead if I, who reprehends the big heresy of ecumenism and the other big heresy of papists, as other hierarchs do, believed as you write against me in the “Gortyna” newspaper that there shouldn’t exist “communion between the nations… for the exchange of knowledge and ideas for the sake of culture and science progress. From all those written by me against ecumenism and papists, is this what your intelligence understood Mr Anastopule?
- I would not be a shepherd and theologian if while I hear abounding instead an alien teaching to the teachings of the Holy Fathers of our Church and I see serious breaches of the Holy Canons through the joint prayers with heretics, I as a bishop, kept silence especially when my flock instigates me to speak out and protest. Since, to my shame, it would be a big shame if I as a bishop kept silent and stay relaxed, while seeing my flock where ministering priests, monks and laymen are indignant and protest against those they hear and see the things that are rapidly heading towards ecumenism, against our faith, while I made an oath on my ordination as bishop to preach and to protect the Holy Canons of our Church.
- Answering actually to your epistle against me, Mr Anastopule, that you sent to “Gortyna” newspaper, I tell you: The fact that we love all the people around the world and even sacrifice ourselves for them, it does not mean that we have to join our true orthodox faith together with the deception of heretics and wrong glorifiers and have joint prayers with them. This is what the ecumenism demands. Yet our Holy Fathers tell us that we must protect the akrivia of our faith and preserve it as we received it and fully and unaltered hand it over on our turn to our children without any addition or deficiency. We have no right to change our faith for the sake of a wrongly understood love. This is not love for the true love must not overlook the truth. “Speaking the truth in love”, says the Apostle Paul. Of course we will meet the papists to have a dialogue with them and tell and prove them based on the Holy Bible and patristic writings that they have a wrong faith that they should renounce to and receive the true orthodox faith that they had at the very beginning and that they renounced afterwards. This is love and what we call love, for we do not want the others to live in deception. Therefore we have to talk to them about their deception.
- For it would not be a true love if I as an orthodox bishop, met the pope and kissed the hand of that heretic and talked for a long time without mentioning anything about his wrong creed and on the contrary hugged him and showing him by that that I was happy for him as he was in his denial. This would be like the doctor who, for the sake of “love” would not tell the patient about his illness and on the contrary he would tell him he was fine and therefore the patient would die due to the “love” of the doctor. Indeed, we the orthodox have the “healthy teaching” that we the bishops, as spiritual doctors have to offer not only to catechize our orthodox believers but also to the wrong glorifiers and heretics in order to deliver them from the “plague” of their heresy. Yet, the papists that unfortunately joint prayers are performed with, are heretics. Their wanderings are countless, amongst others they say that only they have another Holy Trinity (with their “Filioque”), they believe in another Theotokos (with their dogma about “conceptia immaculata”) and they cross themselves differently (with four fingers). Thus, what kind of joint pray could we do with them? “In order to pray together with somebody, we need as well to have the same faith with him” said the holy elder Paisios. Yet the Holy Canons of our Church condemns those who pray with heretics with anathematization and deposition. Thus, what do you accuse me for, Mr Anastopule? Is it for defending the Holy Canons of our Church? I made an oath on my ordination as bishop that I would do that.
- Through my sermons (oral and written), Mr Anastopule, I want to follow the teachings of the Holy Fathers of our Church. I want to be their “megaphone”. Yet, you, through your epistle against me, offend the Holy Fathers as well. For you say about them: “The Holy Fathers as well defended the human, existential and unilateral interests. He (me, Jeremiah) compares the age … of carriages with the spatial and electronic one!” No, Mr Anastopule, a thousand times no! These words of yours are a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. For those Holy Fathers were enlightened by the Holy Spirit through everything they said, wrote and did, as they were Saints and they had Him plenteously dwelling in them. Thus, when you talk about the Holy Spirit, Christ and God bearers Holy Fathers that they defended “human, existential and unilateral interests” when you call their spiritual impulse as “human interests” then this means blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Further you say something else, as much blasphemous as previously: that the teachings of the Holy Fathers are behind the times of our age. For now, you say, we are not during the “age of carriages” but in the “electronic and spatial age” and therefore the conclusion you come to is that we do not need anymore the Holy Fathers, who lived during the “age of carriages” and “defended human, existential and unilateral” interests. How indecent, offending and blasphemous your statement is, Mr Anastopule, against the Holy fathers of our Church. As long as the Holy Fathers are behind the times for our age, let’s look for another teaching, another theology for our contemporary age. How should we call it? Let’s call it “neo-patristic” theology. Yet this “theology”, Mr Anastopule, is a contemporary heresy, unfortunately hatched by those who “theologize”.
- All the theory from those written by you, Mr Anastopule, originates from a perception of yours that is even worse than heresy. Indeed! While the heresy means to misinterpret a dogmatic fragment from the Holy Bible, let’s imagine how tremendous is for somebody to renounce to whole part from the Scripture inspired by God. This is what you do. You renounce to the first and biggest part of God’s Revelation represented by the Old Testament. That is why you write in your epistle: “Before the Holy Fathers there were the classical philosophers that due to their divine enlightenment dispersed the darkness of ignorance and they shared everywhere the light of knowledge.” Before the Holy Fathers, Mr Anastopule, were the Patriarchs and Prophets that according to our faith, the Holy Spirit spoke by. “And in the Holy Spirit… Who spoke by the prophets”, as we say in our Creed. I know the philosophers and I study them, but they were not inspired by God, while the righteous from the Old Testament, the Patriarchs and the Prophets – Abraham, for instance, that you blaspheme – were inspired by God and became worthy to see God, to see Yahweh’s Angel Who was the Son of God and appeared to those who had a pure soul, even before His incarnation. You told once that you accept only the New Testament. Therefore you write in your epistle: “Before the Holy Fathers there were the classical philosophers that due to their divine enlightenment dispersed the darkness of ignorance and they shared everywhere the light of knowledge”. Yet the expression “New Testament” involves the existence also of an “Old Testament”. As long as you deny the Old Testament, you should find another expression for what we call “New Testament”.
- Eventually, I let you know my wish to express by the Grace of God in word and in act the patristic teaching that nourishes our orthodox belief and anathematizes the joint prayers of orthodox with heretics. I want to express this teaching because I believe that the Holy Fathers of our Church are theophores and pneumatophores. I do not believe that they “defended human, existential and unilateral interests” as you blasphemously say about them. My grief is that, although God had mercy and made me one of His hierarchs without being worthy of that, yet I have a filthy heart. Therefore I pray God to give me tears of repentance so that by washing off my filthiness to be bestowed with His Grace. For when they threaten me by sword on my neck for my belief, to not renounce to martyrdom and to be able to say the word of Saint Euthymius of Dimitsana, the nephew of Saint Gregory V who was hanged for his faith and nation: “Stub the knife deeper! I will not deny my faith and love for Christ!”
May God enlighten us all to think correctly and to rightly preach the faith!
Metropolitan of Gortyna and Megalopolis