[MGSA-L] Church and state in Greece - A new concordat?

Christos D. Katsetos cd_katsetos at yahoo.com
Tue Nov 25 22:05:16 PST 2014

 “Μη γνώτω η αριστερά σου τι ποιεί η δεξιά σου” (Ματθ. στ', 3).
The Church of Greece provides philanthropic and relief services to people in need regardlessof race, creed, national origin, or denominational affiliation. The Church and clergy are in manycases the first line of assistance to those in dire need and the last support structure for the socioeconomically most vulnerable groups in Greece. These are trying times for Greek families and church-based institutions are a force for good as they provide an invaluable service to the hardest hit in Greek society, the elderly, the infirm and the disabled. At a time when Greece's crumbling governmental agencies rely increasingly on the Church for desperately needed social services, it is wrong and mean-spirited to suggest stripping ordinary men of the cloth of their meager salaries and place an undue hardship on those who provide invaluable social services in a faith-based setting.
Alzheimer Institutehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5YK9xamYBA
Food pantries and meals for allhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_gdXNGOvhg
Archbishop Ieronymoshttp://www.oodegr.co/english/koinwnia/politika/ieronymos_taxing_of_greek_church.htmhttp://www.ekathimerini.com/4Dcgi/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_19/07/2012_452917
============================== Christos D. Katsetos, MD, PhD, FRCPath
      From: Peter Bratsis <pbratsis at gmail.com>
 To: Akis Gavriilidis <cr33396 at telenet.be> 
Cc: MGSA List <mgsa-l at uci.edu>; HELLAS-GREECE <HELLAS-GREECE at googlegroups.com> 
 Sent: Monday, November 24, 2014 1:15 AM
 Subject: Re: [MGSA-L] Church and state in Greece - A new concordat?
Although it is the case that question of the church is not a significant issue on the SYRIZA platform, Tsipras is on record as an atheist and Dourou was sworn in by a civil oath  (not religious), one of the very few to have done so in the history of Greece (the others are recent SYRIZA, ANTARSYA and KKE elected officials).  It is also true that the formal separation of church and state is not needed for some of points made in the article.  For example, priests were not civil servants until the 1980s even thought Greek Orthodox was the official religion of Greece from shortly after its independence.  Indeed it is not unthinkable that, given the current economic malaise and the demands put on the public sector to save money, the roughly 11,000 clerics currently on the public payroll could be a very significant source of savings should they be removed as civil servants. 

On Nov 23, 2014, at 4:57 AM, Akis Gavriilidis <cr33396 at telenet.be> wrote:
 One pragmatic correction:
 SYRIZA is NOT committed to separating church and state.
 The "veteran of the communist youth movement" recently visited Mount Athos and expressed his admiration for the Orthodox monastic lifestyle. He made no hint whatsoever about any plans to limit the dominant position of the Church ideologically, economically or otherwise.
 On 22/11/2014 21:55, June Samaras wrote:
  Church and state in Greece - A new concordat? 
  [snipped for brevity] 
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