Πέμπτη 21 Ιανουαρίου 2010

By Vladimir Moss

The first Greek revolution of 1821 laid the foundations for the liberation of the whole of European Greece from the Turkish yoke. A hundred years later, only Constantinople remained in Turkish hands. But what is Greece without the City, Constantinople? Or without Anatolia, the heartland of Greek Orthodox civilization? “The Great Idea” of the Greek nationalists – the restoration of the Byzantine empire – required a further revolution to complement the first one by finally overthrowing the Turkish yoke and liberating all the Greeks, both those in Europe and those in Asia.

The second Greek revolution began in 1917, the same year as the Russian revolution. In that year, the Greek Kerensky, the Cretan nationalist and Freemason Eleutherius Venizelos, came to power in Athens in 1917 through a military coup d’etat, forcing King Constantine to resign in favour of his son Alexander and turning the allegiance of the Greek government away from the Central Powers and towards the Allied Powers of France, Britain and Russia. The Apostle Paul said that “the Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, idle gluttons” (Titus 1.12). This text is particularly apt in relation to Venizelos, who lied to the Greek people, raised their hopes of conquest and glory – his aim was a Greece “on two continents, washed by five seas” - and then dashed them to the ground in a pitiless manner.

Margaret Macmillan writes: “In the decades before 1914 thousands of Greeks migrated to Turkey looking for work and opportunity. They brought with them the hopes of their countrymen that the Turkish Greeks could be redeemed, for Greek culture, perhaps for a greater Greece. Changes in Turkey itself stimulated Greek nationalism. When the Young Turks seized power in 1908 the old easy tolerance the Ottomans had shown to minorities was doomed and in 1912 and 1913, when Muslim refugees fled from the Balkans back to Turkey, reprisals started there against Christian minorities. Even so, before the Great War Venizelos was cautious about talk of protecting the Turkish Greeks or of bringing them into union with Greece; his country had to recover from the Balkan wars and absorb its conquests. Indeed in 1914 Venizelos was prepared to negotiate a peaceful exchange of populations, Greeks from Thrace and Asia Minor for Turks from Greece. The exchange, eight years later, was neither negotiated nor peaceful.

“The First World War changed the picture completely. The Ottomans chose the losing side, Venizelos and Greece the winning one. By 1919 even Ottoman Turkey seemed fated to disappear. The extent of the victory and the power of Greece’s friends were intoxicating; Greek newspapers talked of the ‘the realization of our dreams’. Only Constantinople was not mentioned because the censors forbade it. In reality, Turkey was defeated but far from finished; Greece’s friends were neither as powerful nor as steadfast as Venizelos assumed; and Greece itself was deeply divided between supporters and enemies of Venizelos.

“The divisions were a legacy of Greece’s entry into the war. Although Venizelos had been outspokenly pro-Ally from the start, King Constantine, who was married to the German emperor’s sister and, more importantly, was a realist, wanted to keep Greece neutral. The king and his supporters were also immune to the heady vision of a greater country; ‘a small but honourable Greece’ was their preference. A prolonged political crisis between 1915 and 1917 saw Venizelos driven from office; in 1916 he set up a provisional government in defiance of the king, which brought half of Greece into the war; and in 1917 Constantine in turn was forced to leave Greece. A reunited Greece entered the war on the Allied side[1], but the unity was as thin as the excuses that Venizelos now used to round up his opponents. Government, judiciary, civil service, army, even the Orthodox Church, were all purged, leaving a deep rift in Greek society that endured for a generation.

“In the Allied camp these actions, if they were noticed at all, did little damage to Venizelos’ reputation. He had bravely allowed British and French troops to land at Salonika (today Thessaloniki) when Greece was still neutral; he had spent millions that Greece could not afford on the military; and Greek troops had not only fought in the war but had gone off to help Allied anti-Bolshevik forces in Russia. He was a loyal ally, completely in sympathy with the West and its values, and opposed to German militarism. Venizelos, wisely, quoted Wilsonian principles whenever possible; he became an enthusiastic supporter of the League of Nations.

“He was one of the stars of the Peace Conference [in Paris], the ‘biggest man he met’, said Wilson with unwonted enthusiasm. He held dinner tables spellbound with stories of life in the Cretan mountains as a guerrilla, of how he had taught himself English by reading The Times with a rifle resting on his knees. And always the conversation included references to the glorious past and great future of Greece. ‘The whole,’ reported Nicolson, the young British diplomat, ‘gives us a strange medley of charm, brigandage, welt-politik, patriotism, courage, literature – and above all this large muscular smiling man, with his eyes glinting through spectacles, and on his head a square skull-cap of black silk’.

“On 3 February 1919 Venizelos got his chance to present Greece’s case to the Supreme Council. He came with his notes, his statistics, even photograph albums, showing happy Greek fishermen on the islands he wanted. That morning and the following day he was so reasonable, so persuasive. History, language, religion and of course, with a nod to the Americans, self-determination – he used them all. It was quite simple, he argued; in Europe Greece must have the southern part of Albania (North Epirus as he preferred to call it) and, further east, between the Aegean and the Black Sea, Thrace (at the very least the western part), a few islands and a huge piece of Asia Minor stretching from a point halfway along the south shore of the Sea of Marmara almost 400 miles down to the southern coast of Asia Minor to Smyrna. He pointed out that Greece was not asking for Constantinople. He complimented the Italians and made flattering references to the work of American teachers in his part of the world. It was a masterly performance – such amazing strength & tactfulness of argument combined’, in the opinion of a junior British diplomat. It was also dangerous – to Greece, to the Greeks and to the future peace of the Middle East. In that moment of triumph at the Peace Conference Venizelos lit a fuse that led to the catastrophic destruction of ancient Greek communities in Turkey…”[2]

Venizelos’ destructive work in the State was complemented in the Church by his fellow Cretan and nephew Emmanuel Metaxakis, later Patriarch Meletius IV.

Meletius, writes Bishop Photius of Triaditsa, “was born on September 21, 1871 in the village of Parsas on the island of Crete. He entered the Seminary of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem in 1889. He was tonsured with the name Meletius and ordained a hierodeacon in 1892. He completed the theological courses at Holy Cross and was assigned as secretary to the Holy Synod in Jerusalem by Patriarch Damian in 1900. In 1908 Meletius was evicted from the Holy Land by Patriarch Damian, along with the then administrator Chrysostom, later Archbishop of Athens, for ‘activity against the Holy Sepulchre’. Meletius Metaxakis was then elected Metropolitan of Kition [in Cyprus] in 1910.”[3]

This election is surprising in view of the fact that the Cypriots only elect fellow Cypriots to the sees of their Church. It is explained by the fact that the Archbishop of Cyprus at that time, Cyril, who later introduced the new calendar into Cyprus, was a Mason, and probably helped the advancement of his fellow-Mason. For Metaxakis, according to Masonic sources, had become a Mason in 1909.[4]

Bishop Photius continues: “In the years before the war Metropolitan Meletius began successful talks in New York with representatives of the Episcopal Church of America, with the intention of ‘expanding mutual relations between the two Churches’. After the death of Patriarch Joachim III on June 13, 1912, Meletius was nominated as a candidate for the Patriarchal Throne in Constantinople. However, the Holy Synod decided that Meletius could not canonically be registered as a candidate.”[5]

In 1916 Metaxakis left his Cypriot flock and head for Greece. On November 10/23, 1916 a Greek Minister, Andrew Mikhalakopoulos, wrote to President Venizelos, arguing for the necessity of a radical reform of the Greek Church that would bring her closer to the West. And he suggested that Meletius, a fervent Venizelist, would be a suitable agent of this reform.

His letter amounted to nothing less than a proposed wholesale reformation of the Orthodox Church in a Protestant direction, its transformation into “Protestantism of the Eastern rite”:

“Mr. President, I told you a long time ago in the Council of Ministers that after we had brought to a successful conclusion the national struggle that you have undertaken, it would be necessary, for the good of the country, for you to take care of another, equally important, struggle, that of modernizing our religious affairs… To head this truly revolutionary reform, you will need a far-seeing Hierarch, one almost like you in politics. You have one: We are talking of the Hierarch from Cyprus [Meletius Metaxakis]. Under your guidance, he will become the Venizelos of the Church of Greece.

“What are the elements that will require reform (once the political revolution has removed Archbishop Procopius of Athens and those like him) in intellectual and monastic circles, when there will have been put in place an ecclesiastical Hierarchy and a universal Synod, or perhaps only a Greek Synod…?

“1) Abolition of the Fasts, which today are a simple formality. Nobody keeps the Fasts, except one who has nothing to eat. The English and the Germans, and even the northern Italians, who have been liberated from religious fanaticism, eat well, and by eating well they are working well and building a good race. Nourishment brings the necessary strength to work, work brings profit, and profit brings good nourishment. I do not think that the Italians of the north are worse than those of the south, whom the momentous propaganda of the Dante Alighieri Society has not succeeded in snatching from the claws of religious prejudice.

“2) Modernization of the different ceremonies and Liturgies. Less presence of the Priest, the Psaltes, and the Deacon, and increased presence of the expository preacher. What can people who attend religious ceremonies really understand… from these hours that they spend and from standing upright? Nothing. If the Priest were obligated to recite two or three hymns… and to teach during a half-hour period, the listeners would derive much more benefit from this in a very short time, from the social, moral, and patriotic point of view.

“3)… The Priests, by being educated at special schools, will have learned, not the meaning of [a certain phrase from the Liturgy, which Michalakopoulos is not familiar with either, since he misquotes it]…, but how to speak to the people in an intelligible way about sobriety, savings…, love of one’s country, even about the political duties of their listeners, etc., etc.

“4) We will abolish the different Feasts of Saint Athanasios, Saint Andrew, and so on and so forth, which are nothing but an excuse for idleness. A holiday on Sunday and two or three holidays per year will be quite satisfactory for the sluggards. In the villages, holidays are more numerous than workdays… Hence, idleness and its harmful consequences: drunkenness, gambling, and crime, during the time that remains free in the day after the Liturgy. Obviously, it is not possible (unfortunately) to make the idea of holiness disappear… Once there fell into my hands a French book, which my taste for reading made me read, the title of which was Preacher’s Panorama; a large tome… We will publish a book of this type, fruit of the collaboration of good Church and lay writers. And the word ‘holy’ will disappear…

“5) The monasteries, the source of all corruption and of all the abuses of fortune and morals, will be abolished. Their lands will pass into the hands of the peasants…

“Of course, all the foregoing is just a very small part of the program. Many other things will need to be reformed… They will tell you, Mr. President, that putting such an undertaking into effect is an arduous thing; that the people will rise up against the new Iconoclasts; that a revolution will rise up against the impious. Nothing of the kind will happen, from the moment that your own prestige increases… If we succeed on the national level, then the other purge, the interior purge, will follow, and no one will be capable of provoking any troubles… The ecclesiastical Hierarchy that we will train to prepare the reform will have to respond to the need for regulating our religious affairs, following the abolition of the Turkish state and the reduction of the area in which the Oecumenical Patriarchate exercises its jurisdiction…”[6]

In 1918 the traditionalist Metropolitan Theocletus of Athens was uncanonically defrocked “for having instigated the anathema against Eleutherius Venizelos”. Meletius Metaxakis was recalled from America and enthroned as Archbishop of Athens in November, 1918.[7]

“While still Archbishop of Athens,” writes Fr. Srboliub Miletich, “Metaxakis visited Great Britain together with a group of his supporters. Here he conducted talks on unity between the Anglican Church and the Orthodox Churches. At that time he set up the famous ‘Greek Archdiocese of North America’. Until then there had been no separate jurisdictions in America, but only parishes consisting of ethnic groups, including Greeks, and officially under the jurisdiction of the Russian bishop. With the fall of Imperial Russia and the Bolshevik seizure of power, the Russian Church found herself isolated and her dioceses outside Soviet Russia lost their support. Archbishop Meletius’ foundation of a purely Greek ethnic diocese in America became the first in a whole series of divisions which followed. As a result, various groups demanded and received the support of their national Churches.”[8]

Meletius immediately started commemorating Venizelos at the Liturgy instead of the King. This led to an ideological schism within the Synod between the Venizelists and the Royalists, who included Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias, the future leader of the True Orthodox Church. At the same time Patriarch Germanus V of Constantinople was forced into retirement as a result of a stormy protest by some Greeks against what they saw to be his appeasement politics in relation to the Turkish authorities.

Now the Greek government wanted to introduce the western, Gregorian calendar into Greece. And so Meletius promptly, in January, 1919, raised this question in the Church. The only obstacle to the introduction of the new calendar, he declared, was the Apostolic Canon forbidding the celebration of Pascha at the same time as the Jewish Passover or before the spring equinox. But since, he went on, “the government feels the necessity of changing to the Gregorian calendar, let it do so without touching the ecclesiastical calendar.” And he set up a Commission to investigate the question.[9]

The Commission was set up with Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias, the future leader of the True Orthodox Church, as the representative of the hierarchy. In May 20, 1919, on the initiative of Meletius Metaxakis, the Synod raised the question of changing to the new calendar. Meletius told the Synod: “The situation in Russia has changed, and the possibility of becoming closer to the West has become more real. We consider it necessary to introduce a rapid calendar reform.” However, the Commission headed by Metropolitan Germanus was more cautious: “In the opinion of the Commission, the change of the Julian calendar provided it does not contradict canonical and dogmatic bases, could be realised on condition that all the other Orthodox Autocephalous Churches agree, and first of all, the Constantinopolitan Patriarchate, to which it would be necessary to present the initiative in any action in this sphere, so long as we do not change to the Gregorian calendar, but compose a new, more scientifically exact Gregorian calendar, which would be free from the inadequacies of both of the calendars – the Julian and the Gregorian – at present in use.”

“One of the committee members who voted in favour of this position,” writes Fr. Basile Sakkas, “was Chrysostom Papadopoulos, then an Archimandrite and Professor of Theology at the University of Athens.”[10] He it was who, as Archbishop of Athens, introduced the new calendar into the Greek Church in 1924…

When these conclusions had been read out, Meletius changed his tune somewhat: “We must not change to the Gregorian calendar at a time when a new and scientifically perfect calendar is being prepared. If the State feels that it cannot remain in the present calendar status quo, it is free to accept the Gregorian as the European calendar, while the Church keeps the Julian calendar until the new scientific calendar is ready.”[11]

Two things are clear from these events of 1919. First, Meletius was very anxious to accommodate the government if he could. And yet he must have realized that blessing the introduction of the new calendar into the life of the State would inevitably generate pressure for its introduction into the Church as well. Secondly, while he did not feel strong enough to introduce the new calendar into the Church at that time, he was not in principle against it, because he either did not understand, or did not want to understand, the reasons for the Church’s devotion to the Julian calendar, which have nothing to do with scientific accuracy, and all to do with faithfulness to the Tradition and Canons of the Church and the maintenance of Her Unity.

The new calendar was not the only innovation Meletius wanted to introduce: what he wanted, writes Bishop Ephraim, “was an Anglican Church with an eastern tint, and the faithful people in Greece knew it and distrusted everything he did. While in Athens, he even forbade the chanting of vigil services (!) because he considered them out of date and a source of embarrassment when heterodox – especially Anglicans – visited Athens. The people simply ignored him and continued to have vigils secretly.”[12]

However, the heart of Greek Orthodoxy was not Athens, but Constantinople. It was necessary for Venizelos to get his own man on the throne of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. That man would eventually be Metaxakis; but in the meantime, until Metaxakis could be transferred, he needed someone else to stir up the kind of nationalist ferment he needed.

Fortunately for Venizelos, the patriarchal locum tenens in 1919, Metropolitan Dorotheus of Prussa, was just the right man for the job. He introduced two important and closely related innovations in the conduct of the patriarchate towards the Ottoman Empire, on the one hand, and the western heresies, on the other. Thus on January 21, 1919, protected by a Greek-Cretan regiment stationed in the city, Dorotheus proceeded to abolish the teaching of Turkish in Greek schools. Then, on March 16, a resolution for “Union with Greece” was passed in the Constantinopolitan churches, after which the patriarchate and the Greeks refused to communicate with the Sublime Porte. When the Greeks also refused to participate in the November elections, the break with the Turkish authorities was complete.

The patriarchate had in effect carried out a political coup d’état against the Ottoman Empire, thereby reversing a 466-year tradition of submission to the Muslims the political sphere.[13] Since such a daring coup required political and military support from outside, the patriarchate set about making friends with those to whom, from a religious point of view, it had always been inimical. Thus in January, 1919, a Greek-Armenian conference was held to coordinate the activities of the two groups in the city.[14] Then, in the summer, Metropolitan Nicholas of Caesarea in the name of the patriarchate accepted the invitation of the Joint Commission of the World Conference on Faith and Order, a forerunner of the World Council of Churches, to participate in its preliminary conference in Geneva the following year. He said that the patriarchate was “thereby stretching out a hand of help to those working in the same field and in the same vineyard of the Lord”. This statement, which in effect recognized that the western heretics belonged to the True Church, was probably the first statement from the Ecumenical Patriarchate explicitly endorsing the great heresy of ecumenism.

In January, 1920, Metropolitan Dorotheus and his Synod issued what was in effect a charter for Ecumenism. This encyclical was the product of a conference of professor-hierarchs of the Theological School at Khalki, led by Metropolitan Germanus of Seleucia (later of Thyateira and Great Britain).

It was addressed “to all the Churches of Christ everywhere”, and declared that “the first essential is to revive and strengthen the love between the Churches, not considering each other as strangers and foreigners, but as kith and kin in Christ and united co-heirs of the promise of God in Christ.”

It went on: “This love and benevolent disposition towards each other can be expressed and proven especially, in our opinion, through:

“(a) the reception of a single calendar for the simultaneous celebration of the great Christian feasts by all the Churches;

“(b) the exchange of brotherly epistles on the great feasts of the single calendar..;

“(c) close inter-relations between the representatives of the different Churches;

“(d) intercourse between the Theological Schools and the representatives of Theological Science and the exchange of theological and ecclesiastical periodicals and writings published in each Church;

“(e) the sending of young people to study from the schools of one to another Church;

“(f) the convening of Pan-Christian conferences to examine questions of common interest to all the Churches;

“(g) the objective and historical study of dogmatic differences..;

“(h) mutual respect for the habits and customs prevailing in the different Churches;

“(i) the mutual provision of prayer houses and cemeteries for the funeral and burial of members of other confessions dying abroad;

“(j) the regulation of the question of mixed marriages between the different confessions;

“(k) mutual support in the strengthening of religion and philanthropy.”[15]

The unprecedented nature of the encyclical consists in the facts: (1) that it was addressed not, as was Patriarch Joachim’s encyclical, to the Orthodox Churches only, but to the Orthodox and heretics together, as if they were all equally “co-heirs of God in Christ”; (2) that the proposed rapprochement was seen as coming, not through the acceptance by the heretics of the Truth of Orthodoxy and their sincere repentance and rejection of their errors, but through other means; and (3) the proposal of a single universal calendar for concelebration of the feasts, in contravention of the canonical law of the Orthodox Church. There is no mention here of the only possible justification of Ecumenism from an Orthodox point of view – the opportunity it provides of conducting missionary work among the heretics. On the contrary, as we have seen, one of the first aims of the ecumenical movement was and is to prevent proselytism among the member-Churches.

From this time the Ecumenical Patriarchate became an active participant in the ecumenical movement, sending representatives to its conferences in Geneva in 1920, in Lausanne in 1927 and in Edinburgh in 1937.[16] The World Conference on Faith and Order was organized on the initiative of the American Episcopalian Church; and the purpose of the Joint Commission’s approaches to the Churches was that “all Christian Communions throughout the world which confess our Lord Jesus Christ as God and Savior” should be asked “to unite with us in arranging for and conducting such a conference”.[17]

The real purpose of the 1920 encyclical was political, to gain the support of the western heretics, and especially the Anglicans, in persuading their governments to endorse Dorotheus’ and Venizelos’ plans for Greek control of Constantinople and Smyrna and its hinterland. Thus on February 24, 1920, Dorotheus wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury: “We beseech you energetically to fortify the British government… in its attempts to drive out the Turks [from Constantinople]. By this complete and final expulsion, and by no other means, can the resurrection of Christianity in the Near East and the restoration of the church of Hagia Sophia be secured.”[18]

In December, 1920, the patriarchate called for the resignation of the king for the sake of the Hellenic nation, and even considered excommunicating him! Then, in March, a patriarchal delegation headed by Metropolitan Dorotheus travelled to London, where they met Lord Curzon, the British foreign secretary, King George V and the archbishop of Canterbury – the first such trip to the West by the senior prelate of Orthodoxy since Patriarch Joseph’s fateful participation in the council of Florence in 1438. And there, like Joseph, Dorotheus had a heart attack and died, just as he was to receive the honorary vice-presidency of the World Congress for the friendship of the World through the Churches.[19]

The terrible tragedy suffered by the Greek nation at this time must be attributed in no small part to the nationalist-ecumenist politics of Dorotheus and his Synod – a classic example of the destructive consequences of the intrusion of political passions and ambitions into the life of the Church…

In spite of the support of the Anglican Church for Dorotheus, and of Lloyd George for Venizelos, the Allies never committed themselves to the creation of a Greek kingdom in Asia Minor. The reason was obvious: it would have meant full-scale war with Turkey – an unattractive prospect so soon after the terrible losses of the Great War, and when British troops were still fighting in Soviet Russia and other places. From the Allied Powers’ point of view, their troops were stationed in Constantinople, not as a permanent occupation force, but only in order to protect the Christian minority. Moreover, the Greek attitude antagonized the Turks and led to the creation of a powerful Turkish nationalist movement…

[1] The Greeks were bribed by Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, who in January, 1915 secretly offered Venizelos “most important territorial compensation for Greece on the coast of Asia Minor” on condition that Greece joined the war on the side of the Allies. See Giles Milton, Paradise Lost: Smyrna 1922, London: Sceptre, 2008, p. 77. (V.M.)
[2] Macmillan, Peacemakers, London: John Murray, 2003, pp. 358-362.
[3] Bishop Photius, “The 70th Anniversary of the Pan-Orthodox Congress in Constantinople”, Orthodox Life, № 1, 1994, p. 40.
[4] In 1967 a eulogy of the Mason Meletius was published in the official bulletin of the Great Masonic Lodge of Greece by Alexander Zervudakis. It read: “The first time that he passed through Istanbul (in 1906), he made the acquaintance of Freemasons... These people... proposed to him, during his second stay in Istanbul, that he become a Freemason (1908)... He asked his colleagues, whom he esteemed, to give him some information on Freemasonry, so that he might decide… to follow the example of so many English and other foreign bishops, to get to know and to initiate himself into the mysteries hidden within Freemasonry. He was put into contact with the Harmony Lodge, Number 44, of Istanbul... and so Meletius received Masonic illumination, at the beginning of 1909... There are very few who, like Brother Meletius, have made Freemasonry the object of their life all their days.” (“Meletius Metaxakis”, Tektonikon Deltion: Organon tes Megales Stoas tes Hellados, № 71, January-February, 1967 (G); translated in Dimitri Kitsikis, The Old Calendarists and the Rise of Religious Conservatism in Greece, Etna, Ca.: Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 1995, p. 17.
[5] Bishop Photius, op. cit., p. 40.
[6] D. Gatopoulos, Andreas Michalakopoulos, 1875-1938, Athens, Elevtheroudakis, 1947, pp. 90-93 (in Greek); translated in Kitsikis, op. cit., pp. 9-11.
[7] "To imerologiakon skhisma apo istorikes kai kanonikes apopseos exetazomenon" (The Calendar Schism from an Historical and Canonical Point of View), Agios Agathangelos Esphigmenites (St. Agathangelos of Esphigmenou), 130, March-April, 1992, p. 16 (in Greek).
[8] Miletich, “Behind the Sourozh Phenomenon: Spiritual Freedom or Cultural Captivity? Meletios Metaksakis, Metropolitan, Archbishop, Pope and Patriarch”, hocna@yahoogroups.com, July 5, 2006.
[9] Goutzidis, Ekklesiologika Themata (Ecclesiological Themes), Athens, 1980, pp. 67-68 (in Greek).
[10] Sakkas, The Calendar Question, Jordanville, N.Y.: Holy Trinity Monastery, 1983, p. 23.
[11] Goutzidis, op. cit., p. 68.
[12] Monk (now Metropolitan) Ephraim, Letter on the Calendar Issue, Brookline, Mass.: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1968, second edition 1979, St. Nectarios Educational Series, № 2.
[13] Alexis Alexandris, The Greek Minority of Istanbul and Greek-Turkish Relations, 1918-1974, Athens: Centre for Asia Minor Studies, 1983, pp. 54-57.
[14] Alexandris, op. cit., p. 58.
[15] Vasilios Stavrides, Istoria tou Oikoumenikou Patriarkheiou (1453 – simeron) (A History of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (1453 to the present day), Thessalonica, 1987, pp. 248-249 (in Greek).
[16] Stavrides, op. cit., pp. 260, 247.
[17] Fr. George Macris, The Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Movement, Seattle: St. Nectarios Press, 1986, pp. 4-5.
[18] Alexandris, op. cit., p. 62.
[19] Monk Paul, Neoimerologitismos-Oikoumenismos (Newcalendarism-Ecumenism), Athens, 1982, p. 35 (in Greek).

Meanwhile, writes Margaret Macmillan, Venizelos “had been working hard from the start of the Peace Conference to press Greek claims, with mixed success. Although he tried to argue that the coast of Asia Minor was indisputably Greek in character, and the Turks in a minority, his statistics were highly dubious. For the inland territory he was claiming, where even he had to admit that the Turks were in a majority, Venizelos called in economic arguments. The whole area (the Turkish provinces of Aidin and Brusa and the areas around the Dardanelles and Ismir) was a geographic unit that belonged to the Mediterranean; it was warm, well watered, fertile, opening out to the world, unlike the dry and Asiatic plateau of the hinterland. The Turks were good workers, honest, in their relations, and a good people as subjects’, he told the Supreme Council at his first appearance in February. ‘But as rulers they were insupportable and a disgrace to civilisation, as was proved by their having exterminated over a million Armenians and 300,000 Greeks during the last four years.’ To show how reasonable he was being, he renounced any claims to the ancient Greek settlements at Pontus on the eastern end of the Black Sea. He would not listen to petitions from the Pontine Greeks, he assured House’s assistant, Bonsal: ‘I have told them that I cannot claim the south shore of the Black Sea, as my hands are quite full with Thrace and Anatolia.’ There was a slight conflict with Italian claims, but he was confident the two countries could come to a friendly agreement. They had, in fact, already tried and it had been clear that neither was prepared to back down, especially on Smyrna.

“The thriving port of Smyrna lay at the heart of Greek claims. It had been Greek in the great Hellenic past and in the nineteenth century had become predominantly Greek again as immigrants from the Greek mainland had flocked there to take advantage of the new railways which stretched into the hinterland and opportunities for trade and investment. The population was at least a quarter of a million before the war and more Greeks lived there than in Athens itself. They dominated the exports – from figs to opium to carpets – which coursed down from the Anatolian plateau in Asia Minor. Smyrna was a Greek city, a centre of Greek learning and nationalism – but it was also a crucial part of the Turkish economy.

“When Venizelos reached out for Smyrna and its hinterland, he was going well beyond what could be justified in terms of self-determination. He was also putting Greece into a dangerous position. Taking the fertile valleys of western Asia Minor was perhaps necessary, as he argued, to protect the Greek colonies along the coast. From another perspective, though, it created a Greek province with a huge number of non-Greeks as well as a long line to defend against anyone who chose to attack from central Anatolia. His great rival General Metaxas, later dictator of Greece, warned of this repeatedly. ‘The Greek state is not today ready for the government and exploitation of so extensive a territory.’ Metaxas was right.”[1]

The Italians and the Americans were against the Greek claims on Smyrna; but the British and the French were sympathetic. The deadlock was resolved when, in May, 1919, the Italians walked out of the Peace Conference and landed troops on the coast of Western Asia Minor. This gave Lloyd George his chance to intervene on behalf of Venizelos. The Americans were won over, and the Greeks were told that they could land in Smyrna and “wherever there is a threat of trouble or massacre”. “The whole thing,” wrote Henry Wilson, the British military expert, “is mad and bad”.[2]

Lord Curzon, the soon-to-be British Foreign Minister, was also worried, though he was far from being a Turkophile. As he said: “The presence of the Turks in Europe has been a source of unmitigated evil to everybody concerned. I am not aware of a single interest, Turkish or otherwise, that during nearly 500 years has benefited from that presence.”[3] “That the Turks should be deprived of Constantinople is, in my opinion, inevitable and desirable as the crowning evidence of their defeat in war, and I believe that it will be accepted with whatever wrathful reluctance by the Eastern world.” “But,” he went on, “when it is realized that the fugitives are to be kicked from pillar to post and that there is to be practically no Turkish Empire and probably no Caliphate at all, I believe that we shall be giving a most dangerous and most unnecessary stimulus to Moslem passions throughout the Eastern world and that sullen resentment may easily burst into savage frenzy”. And he called the landing in Smyrna “the greatest mistake that had been made in Paris”.[4]

The landing took place on May 15, 1919. Unfortunately, it was handled badly, and some hundreds of Turkish civilians were killed. Although the Greeks arrested those responsible and did all they could to make amends, international opinion, stirred up by Turkish propaganda and the thoroughly pro-Turkish American representative in Constantinople, Admiral Bristol, began to turn against them, ignoring the mass slaughter of Greeks in Western Asian Minor, Pontus and the Caucasus.

On May 16, Kemal Ataturk slipped out of Constantinople on an Italian pass, and arrived in Samsun to organize the nationalist movement that eventually defeated the Greeks and created the modern state of Turkey. By the end of the year he had created a new Turkish capital in Ankara. Although, on May 20, the Allies had recognized the Sultan, and not Ataturk, as Turkey’s legitimate ruler, the Italians were already secretly negotiating with Ataturk, and the French were not slow to follow suit. Only the British – more precisely, Lloyd George – continued to support Venizelos.

On June 14, Venizelos asked the Supreme Council to allow the Greeks to extend their occupation zone. However, the western powers said no. They were exhausted from more than four years of war, had already been demobilizing their armies around the globe, and with the defeat of the Whites in Russia, this process accelerated. The last thing they wanted was another full-scale war with the Turks. Besides, the Americans were concerned that their Standard Oil Company should have large concessions in Mesopotamia, which they believed Ataturk could give them, and the French wanted an intact Turkey in order to pay back her pre-war loans. The British toyed with the idea of supporting an independent Kurdistan in Ataturk’s rear, but by the spring of 1920 this plan was dropped. Soon they also abandoned their protectorates in Georgia and Baku.

In April, 1920, the Sultan’s government appealed to the allies to help him fight Ataturk, but the allies refused. In fact, the French were already arming Ataturk by this time. In spite of this, in May, the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres, which were harsh on Turkey, were announced. They ceded Smyrna to the Greeks, founded a free Armenia, created a free Kurdistan, divided up the eastern part of Asia Minor into French, Italian and British occupation zones, ceded Mesopotamia and the Straits to Britain, Syria to France, maintained Constantinople as an international city, and reduced the Turkish army to a token force. But none of this was going to become reality… The Treaty also ignored the territorial concessions to Russia that had been agreed during the Great War. This incensed the Soviets, who now began to support Kemal…

As the Turkish nationalist forces advanced westwards, they encountered British troops about one hundred miles from Constantinople. The British drove them off, but called for reinforcements. There were no British reinforcements, so it had to be Greek ones. In June, Lloyd George and the Supreme Council, agreed to Venizelos’ plans to move inland from Smyrna to relieve the pressure exerted by Kemal on the British at Chanak. “The British high commissioner in Constantinople wrote angrily to Curzon: ‘The Supreme Council, thus, are prepared for a resumption of general warfare; they are prepared to do violence to their own declared principles; they are prepared to perpetuate bloodshed indefinitely in the Near East, and for what? To maintain M. Venizelos in power in Greece for what cannot in the nature of things be more than a few years at the outside.’ Curzon agreed completely: ‘Venizelos thinks his men will sweep the Turks into the mountains. I doubt it will be so.’”[5]

At first, however, the Greeks did well. They defeated the Turks at Chanak (present-day Canakkale) and seized Eastern Thrace. By August, 1920, 100,000 soldiers had penetrated 250 miles inland. But the alarmed Allies then sent token forces of their own to separate the Greeks from the Turks. Harold Nicolson wrote: “By turning their guns against the Greeks – their own allies – the Great Powers saved Kemal’s panic-stricken newly-conscripted army at the eleventh hour from final destruction.”[6]

In October, the French signed a treaty with Ataturk’s government, which enabled them to withdraw their troops from Cilicia, which freed more Turkish troops for the Greek front. The Turks were now receiving supplies from the Italians, the French and the Soviets, and began to regroup in the centre of the country…

In November Venizelos and his liberal party suffered a stunning and quite unexpected defeat in the Greek elections. King Constantine returned to power. This made no difference to the war because the king felt honour-bound to try and finish what Venizelos had begun. Or rather, it made things worse, because the king then conducted a purge of pro-Venizelos officers which weakened the army at a critical time. Moreover, the Allies were enraged, because Constantine was the son-in-law of Kaiser Wilhelm and had shown sympathies for the Germans during the war.

With the fall of Venizelos, Metaxakis also fell. In February, 1921, he returned to America, campaigning on behalf of Venizelos, and presenting the novel argument that all the Orthodox in America should be under the Patriarchate of Constantinople because of Canon 28 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council. He immediately returned into communion with the Anglicans. Thus the Greek ambassador in Washington reported to the prefect in Thessalonica that on December 17, 1921, “vested, he took part in a service in an Anglican church, knelt in prayer with the Anglicans before the holy table, which he venerated, gave a sermon, and blessed those present in the church” of the heretics.[7]

Meletius won over the epitropos of the Greek Archdiocese, Rodostolos Alexandros, and the two of them first broke relations with the Church of Greece and then, at a clergy-laity conference in the church of the Holy Trinity, New York, declared the autonomy of the Greek Archdiocese from the Church of Greece, changing its name to the grandiloquent: “Greek Archbishopric of North and South America”. This was more than ironical, since it had been Metaxakis himself who had created the archdiocese as a diocese of the Church of Greece when he had been Archbishop of Athens in 1918!

There followed a prolonged struggle for control of the patriarchate between the Royalist and Venizelist factions, which was ended by the enthronement, on January 24, 1922, of Meletius Metaxakis as patriarch of Constantinople – in spite of the ban laid on him by the Greek Church! He sailed into Constantinople under a Byzantine yellow flag and black eagle. How had this happened?

Bishop Photius writes: “Political circles around Venizelos and the Anglican Church had been involved in Meletius’ election as Patriarch. Metropolitan Germanus (Karavangelis) of the Holy Synod of Constantinople wrote of these events, ‘My election in 1921 to the Ecumenical Throne was unquestioned. Of the seventeen votes cast, sixteen were in my favour. Then one of my lay friends offered me 10,000 lira if I would forfeit my election in favour of Meletius Metaxakis. Naturally I refused his offer, displeased and disgusted. At the same time, one night a delegation of three men unexpectedly visited me from the “National Defence League” and began to earnestly entreat me to forfeit my candidacy in favour of Meletius Metaxakis. The delegates said that Meletius could bring in $100,000 for the Patriarchate and, since he had very friendly relations with Protestant bishops in England and America, could be useful in international causes. Therefore, international interests demanded that Meletius Metaxakis be elected Patriarch. Such was also the will of Eleutherius Venizelos. I thought over this proposal all night. Economic chaos reigned at the Patriarchate. The government in Athens had stopped sending subsidies, and there were no other sources of income. Regular salaries had not been paid for nine months. The charitable organizations of the Patriarchate were in a critical economic state. For these reasons and for the good of the people [or so thought the deceived hierarch] I accepted the offer…’ Thus, to everyone’s amazement, the next day, November 25 [December 8], 1921, Meletius Metaxakis became the Patriarch of Constantinople.

“The uncanonical nature of his election became evident when, two days before the election, November 23 [December 6, 1921], there was a proposal made by the Synod of Constantinople to postpone the election on canonical grounds. The majority of the members voted to accept this proposal. At the same time, on the very day of the election, the bishops who had voted to postpone the election were replaced by other bishops. This move allowed the election of Meletius as Patriarch. Consequently, the majority of bishops of the Patriarchate of Constantinople who had been circumvented met in Thessalonica. [This Council included seven out of the twelve members of the Constantinopolitan Holy Synod and about 60 patriarchal bishops from the New Regions of Greece under the presidency of Metropolitan Constantine of Cyzicus.] They announced that, ‘the election of Meletius Metaxakis was done in open violation of the holy canons,’ and proposed to undertake ‘a valid and canonical election for Patriarch of Constantinople.’ In spite of this, Meletius was confirmed on the Patriarchal Throne.”[8]

Two members of the Synod then went to Athens to report to the council of ministers. On December 12, 1921 they declared the election null and void. One of the prominent hierarchs who refused to accept this election was Metropolitan Chrysostom (Kavourides) of Florina, the future leader of the True Orthodox Church. The Sublime Porte also refused to recognize the election, first because Meletius was not an Ottoman citizen and therefore not eligible for the patriarchate according to the Ottoman charter of 1856, and secondly because Meletius declared that he did not consider any such charters as binding insofar as they had been imposed by the Muslim conquerors.[9]

On December 29, 1921, the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece under the presidency of Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias deposed Metaxakis for a series of canonical transgressions and for creating a schism, declared both Metaxakis and Rodostolos Alexandros to be schismatics and threatened to declare all those who followed them to be similarly schismatic. However, in spite of this second condemnation, Meletius was enthroned as patriarch on January 22, 1922. And as a result of intense political pressure his deposition was uncanonically lifted on September 24, 1922!...[10]

Meanwhile, in March, 1921, the Greek army in Asia Minor began its advance on Ankara. Very soon they had won control of the whole of the western escarpment of the Anatolian plateau. However, on March 31 the Turks conducted a successful counter-attack.

The Greeks would have been well-advised to seek peace at this point, but they did not. Massacres were taking place of Turks in the Greek-controlled region, and of Greeks in the Turk-controlled region. Passions were too high for either side to contemplate peace. In the summer King Constantine arrived in Smyrna, and it was agreed to resume the advance. In August the Greeks arrived at the summit of Mount Tchal, overlooking Ankara. However, they were in a poor state, hungry, diseased and in danger of having their lines of communication cut by Turkish irregulars. The Turks counter-attacked, and on September 11 the Greeks retreated to the west bank of the Sakarya river. “For approximately nine months,” wrote Sir Winston Churchill, “the Turks waited comfortably in the warmth while the Greeks suffered throughout the icy-cold of the severe winter”.[11]

Finally, on August 26, 1922, the Turks began a general offensive. The Greek army was routed. Early in September the Turkish army entered Smyrna, the Greek Metropolitan Chrysostom was murdered[12] and the city deliberately set on fire.

At this moment Lord Beaverbrook arrived in Constantinople on a special mission for the British. On learning the facts, he told the American Admiral Bristol: “Our behaviour to the Greeks was rotten! We have behaved to them with dirty duplicity! They were prompted and supported by us in beginning their campaign. But we abandoned them without support at their most critical moment so that the Turks could exterminate them and destroy them forever! Lloyd George, the British Prime Minister, supported them and prompted them himself to make the landing at Smyrna. He supported them with every means except for giving them money which his Treasury did not have to give. And now we are leaving them exposed to disaster!” Then he turned to Admiral Bristol: “And what are you doing in this matter?”[13] The Allies were doing nothing: allied ships in Smyrna were ordered to observe strict “neutrality”, and the Greek government failed to send any of its own. It took the heroic efforts of a Methodist minister from New York, Asa Jennings, to galvanize the Greeks and the Allies into action, and a massive evacuation began. Then the Greek government fell, the king resigned, Prime Minister Gounaris was executed together with six army leaders[14], and Colonels Nicholas Plastiras and Stylianus Gonatas took control. But the evacuation continued, and hundreds of thousands were rescued from certain death either through fire or at the hands of the Turks. Nevertheless, Fr. Raphael Moore calculates that the following numbers of Greeks were killed in Asia Minor: in 1914 – 400,000 in forced labour brigades; 1922 - 100,000 in Smyrna; 1916-22 – 350,000 Pontians during forced deportations; 1914-22 – 900,000 from maltreatment, starvation in all other areas.[15] The “Great Idea” of Greek nationalism was dead, drowned in a sea of blood…

After the new revolutionary government took power in Greece, all the hierarchs who had condemned the election of Meletius Metaxakis changed their minds, and, as Stavros Karamitsos writes, “quickly hastened, one after the other, to recognize Meletius, except for two bishops, Sophronius of Eleutheropolis and our famous Chrysostom,… [who wrote in his Apology]: ‘I was then summoned, through the bishop of Kavala Chrysostom, to appear before the Minister, who urged me with threats to recognize Meletius. I took no account of his threats and refused to knuckle under. Then, to avoid a second exile to the Holy Mountain, I departed to Alexandria to see my relatives and to recover from my distress. ’While in Alexandria, I received a summons from the Ecumenical Patriarchate to appear before the Holy Synod and explain why I did not recognize the election of Meletius as Ecumenical Patriarch. But..., being unable to appear in person before the Synod, I sent a letter justifying my refusal to recognize Meletius as the canonical Patriarch on the basis of the divine and sacred Canons. And while he was preparing to condemn and defrock me in my absence, he was driven from his throne by the Turks for scandalously mixing his spiritual mission with anti-Turkish politics…’”[16]

However, the mood in Constantinople had begun to turn against Meletius nearly a year before that, in the wake of the events of August-September, 1922, when the terrified Greeks began to leave at the rate of 3000 a day. One of those who left at this time was Hierodeacon Basil Apostolides. As Fr. Jerome of Aegina he was to become one of the great figures of the True Orthodox Church. He gave as reason for his departure to the Patriarch his fear that the Turks would force the clergy to take off their cassocks – a prophecy that was fulfilled twelve years later.[17]

“The second fall of Constantinople” took place for the same reason as the first fall in 1453 – the attempt of the Church to achieve union with the western heretics, the first concrete step towards which was to be the adoption of the new, papist calendar in both Constantinople and Greece… The main obstacle to this in Greece, apart from the holy canons and the opposition of all the other Churches, was a royal mandate decreeing that “the Julian Calendar is to remain in force as regards the Church and religious feasts in general”, and that “the national festival of the 25th of March and all the holidays laid down by the laws are to be regulated according to the Julian Calendar.”[18] However, the fall of the monarchy removed this obstacle, and the new revolutionary government was all too eager to help the renovationist heretics…

On February 3, Meletius Metaxakis wrote to the Church of Greece, arguing for the change of calendar at his forthcoming Pan-Orthodox Council “so as to further the cause, in this part of the Pan-Christian unity, of the celebration of the Nativity and Resurrection of Christ on the same day by all those who are called by the name of the Lord.”[19] The revolutionary government of Greece then removed Metropolitan Theocletus I of Athens from office. Shortly afterwards, on February 25, Archimandrite Chrysostom Papadopoulos, was elected Metropolitan of Athens by three out of a specially chosen Synod of only five hierarchs – another ecclesiastical coup d’état. During his enthronement speech, Chrysostom said that for collaboration with the heterodox “it is not necessary to have common ground or dogmatic union, for the union of Christian love is sufficient”…[20]

Having won the support of the Greek Church, Meletius convened a “Pan-Orthodox Council” in Constantinople from May 10 to June 8, 1923, whose renovationist resolutions concerned the “correction” of the Julian calendar, a fixed date for Pascha, the second marriage of clergy, and various relaxations with regard to the clothing of clergy, the keeping of monastic vows, impediments to marriage, the transfer of Saints’ feasts from the middle of the week, and fasting.

However, hardly more than ten people, and no official representatives of the Patriarchates, turned up for the council, so discredited was its convener. And even Archbishop Chrysostom (Papadopoulos) had to admit: “Unfortunately, the Eastern Patriarchs who refused to take part in the Congress rejected all of its resolutions in toto from the very outset. If the Congress had restricted itself only to the issue of the calendar, perhaps it would not have encountered the kind of reaction that it did.”[21]

What made the council’s decisions still less acceptable was the reason it gave for its innovations, viz., that changing the Paschalion “would make a great moral impression on the whole civilized world by bringing the two Christian worlds of the East and West closer through the unforced initiative of this Orthodox Church…”[22] Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) of Kiev called the calendar innovation “this senseless and pointless concession to Masonry and Papism”. And Archbishop Nicon wrote: “The most important decrees of the Congress were the decisions to change to the new style [calendar] and to allow the clergy to marry a second time. The Alexandrian, Antiochian and Jerusalem Churches did not participate in the Congress, considering its convening untimely [and Meletius an uncanonical usurper]. But its decrees were rejected by them as being, according to the expression of the Alexandrian Patriarch, ‘contrary to the practice, tradition and teaching of our most Holy Mother Church and presented under the pretext of being slight modifications, which are probably elicited by the demands of the new dogma of “Modernism”’ (epistle to the Antiochian Patriarch, 23 June, 1923). The representatives of the Russian Church Abroad [Archbishops Anastasius and Alexander], and after them the Council of Bishops, reacted completely negatively to these reforms.”[23]

The false council caused rioting in the streets of Constantinople, and the Orthodox population sacked the patriarchal apartments and physically beat Meletius himself…

In fact, the position of the patriarchate was already so vulnerable, that during the Lausanne conference (1922-23), which decided on the massive exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey, the Turkish delegation officially demanded the removal of the patriarchate from Constantinople in view of its disloyalty to the Turkish government in the course of the past war. And the Italian president of the exchange of populations subcommission, G.M. Mantagna, even suggested that “the removal of the Patriarchate [from Constantinople] would not be too high a price to pay for the conclusion of an agreement.” However, the French delegation, supported by the Greeks, suggested that the patriarchate remain in Constantinople but be deprived of its former political power. And on January 10, 1923 the British Lord Curzon said that the removal of the patriarchate from Constantinople would be a shock to the whole civilised world.[24]

Venizelos then came up with a compromise proposal that the patriarchate remain in Constantinople but that he would do all he could to remove his nephew Metaxakis from it, a proposal that the Turks reluctantly agreed to. Meletius agreed to his resignation, but suggested its postponement until the conclusion of the peace negotiations, in June, 1923. On July 10, harassed by both Venizelos and the Turkish government, and challenged for his see by the newly formed “Turkish Orthodox Church” of Papa Euthymius, Meletius withdrew to Mount Athos. On September 20, he resigned officially.

On December 6, a new patriarch, Gregory VII, was enthroned. On the very next day, the “Turkish Orthodox” priest Papa Euthymius together with Metropolitan Cyril of Rodopolis and his supporters burst into the Phanar, drove out all the inhabitants and declared that they would not leave the Phanar until a “lawful” patriarch was elected and Gregory renounced the throne. Two days, after an order came from Ankara, the Turkish police escorted them out, and the Phanar was returned to Patriarch Gregory.[25]

The Greek Church, meanwhile, was preparing to follow the example of Constantinople – with the strong encouragement of the revolutionary government. Thus at a synodal meeting on December 24, President Nicholas Plastiras said to the hierarchs: “The Revolution requests you, then, my respected Hierarchs, to leave all personal preference to one side and proceed to purge the Church… The Revolution hopes that a useful work for the new generation will result from your labours, and that it will reckon itself happy to see the rebirth of the Church being set in motion… Consequently, it wishes you not to limit yourselves to the ancestral Canons, but to proceed to radical measures.”[26]

On March 25, 1924 (new calendar), two important events took place simultaneously in Athens. The great feast of the Annunciation was celebrated according to the new calendar by Archbishop Chrysostom (Papadopoulos), and the Greek monarchy was abrogated (without a vote) by the revolutionary government. As Nicholas Kraniotakis wrote: “Under strict orders, and to the sound of trumpets, the soldiers detached the Crown from the Cross and threw it to the ground! And Greek democracy was born!...”

The second Greek revolution was strikingly similar to the first in its aims, and even worse than the first in its results. Instigated, as in 1821, by both lay nationalists and leading hierarchs, it ended in the gaining of no territory, in the loss of hundreds of thousands of Greek lives, in the loss and destruction of the heartland of Greek Orthodox civilization in Anatolia, and, worst of all – in the fall from grace of the Churches of Constantinople and Greece. As indicated above, it is a classic example of the destructive consequences of the invasion of nationalist political passions into the life of an Orthodox nation. By striving for political freedom, and ignoring the Lord’s command about obedience to political authorities, the Greeks brought political disaster upon themselves and lost their spiritual freedom with God, Who allowed them to fall into the heresy of ecumenism. They also lost the monarchy – a loss which modern Greeks, like their pagan ancestors but unlike other Orthodox nations, do not see as a loss, but which undoubtedly helps to undermine a nation’s resistance to spiritual evil.

The bad consequences of the first Greek revolution were gradually overcome. We have not yet seen any such recovery from the second revolution. Of all the bad consequences of the second revolution the worst is the adoption of the new, papal calendar and the fall into ecumenism. On the necessity of reversing this, the most tragic fruit of the revolution, the holy Nun Helena of Chin (+1977) said: “In Greece there is the new calendar. Don’t go to the churches where it is followed… If Greece returns to the Old Calendar, it will triumph. Otherwise it will perish.”[27]

Vladimir Moss.
January 7/20, 2010.
Synaxis of the Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John.

[1] Macmillan, op. cit., pp. 440-441.
[2] Macmillan, op. cit., p. 443.
[3] Curzon, in Matthew Stewart, “Catastrophe at Smyrna”, History Today, vol. 54 (7), July, 2004, pp. 28-29.
[4] Macmillan, op. cit., p. 451.
[5] Macmillan, op. cit., p. 459.
[6] Nicolson, History, 1919-1925, 1934, p. 250; quoted in Jean de Murat, The Great Extirpation of Hellenism & Christianity in Asia Minor, Miami, 1999, p. 95.
[7] Archimandrite Theokletos A. Strangas, Ekklesias Ellados Istoria (A History of the Church of Greece), Athens, 1970, vol. II, p. 1118 (G); quoted in “Oecumenical Patriarch Meletios (Metaxakis)”, Orthodox Tradition, vol. XVII, №№. 2 & 3, 2000, p. 11.
[8] Bishop Photius, op. cit., p. 41-42.
[9] Alexandris, op. cit., pp. 75-76.
[10] “To imerologiakon skhism apo istorikis kai kanonikis apopseos exetazomenon" (The Calendar Schism from an historical and canonical point of view), Agios Agathangelos Esphigmenites (St. Agathangelos of Esphigmenou), № 131, May-June, 1992, p. 17 (G); Bishop Photius, op. cit., p. 41.
[11] Churchill, Memoirs; in Murat, op. cit., p. 108.
[12] Murat writes, basing himself on the account by Edward Hale Bierstadt in The Great Betrayal: “Just after midday on Monday, 11 September 1922, the Turkish High Commander Noureddin sent men to arrest the Greek Archbishop Chrysostom and to bring him to his Residency Konak. The reverend priest arrived there separately from the Turkish escort, accompanied by a French naval attachment of 12 men. The old Archbishop ascended the stairs of the Residency with difficulty and, entering the General’s office, held out his hand to greet him. Noureddin, instead of taking it, spat at him in uncontrolled anger and, showing the venerable and eminent priest a file which was open on the table, said to him savagely: ‘Based on these sworn statements, the court in Ankara has already sentenced you to death. It is only remains for the people to carry out this judicial decision’. And shouting out with unsuppressed violence ‘Take yourself out of my sight!’, he made a sign at the same time to the guards, who pushed the Archbishop out.
“The reverend priest descended the stairs of the mansion slowly and at the same time Noureddin went out onto the balcony, shouting to the crowd of fanatical Turks who were gathered there (from a French translation): ‘Give him what he deserves’. The savage brutality which followed is absolutely horrific. They fell upon him like hungry wolves. They put out his eyes, they cut out his tongue, his ears and his nose, they pulled out his hair and his beard in their frantic mania, they cut off his hands and did other unspeakable horrors. Then they put a chain around his butchered body, hung him on the back of a car and dragged him around the square and towards the Turkish quarters. The French marines who had escorted Chrysostom to the Residency and who were waiting for his return, went crazy when they saw this brutal savagery. Some of them hurled themselves instinctively forward to give human protection to the victim, but the leader of the detachment forbade them to proceed. They were an insignificant minority under the circumstances and they would doubtless have met the same fate as the unfortunate Archbishop from the maniacal crowd had they thoughtlessly proceeded to take action. The French leader of the detachment himself had his pistol ready in his hand, but he was trembling from head to foot from the outrageous spectacle. One of the French naval detachment testified later, saying bitterly: ‘That’s why we didn’t dare to use our own arms’. ‘They finished off Chrysostom in front of our very eyes’.” (op. cit., pp. 137-138)
[13] Murat, op. cit., p. 128.
[14] Barbara Jelavich, History of the Balkans, Cambridge University Press, 1983, volume 2, pp. 131-132, 173-174; "1922-1982", Orthodox Christian Witness, October 4/17, 1982.
[15] Moore (
[16] Karamitsos, O Synkhronos Omologitis tis Orthodoxias (The Contemporary Confessor of Orthodoxy), Athens, 1990, p. 25 (in Greek).
[17] Peter Botsis, Gerontas Ieronymos o Isykhastes tis Aiginas (Elder Jerome the Hesychast of Aegina), Athens, 1991, p. 76 (in Greek).
[18] Goutzidis, op. cit., pp. 68-70.
[19] Goutzidis, op. cit., p. 76.
[20] Cited in Bishop Photius, "The 70th Anniversary of the Pan-Orthodox Congress in Constantinople", Orthodox Life, № 1, 1994, p. 40.
[21] “Oecumenical Patriarch Meletios (Metaxakis)”, Orthodox Tradition, vol. XVII, №№ 2 & 3, 2000, p. 9.
[22] Dionysius Battistatos, Praktika-Apophaseis tou en Kon/polei Panorthodoxou Synedriou 1923 (The Acts and Decisions of the Pan-Orthodox Conference in Constantinople in 1923), 1982, p. 57 (in Greek).
[23] Nicon (Rklitsky), Zhizneopisanie Blazhennejshago Antonia, Mitropolita Kievskagao i Galitskago (Biography of his Beatitude Anthony, Metropolitan of Kiev and Galich), New York, vol. 10, p. 38 (in Russian).
[24] The British, whose troops were still occupying Constantinople and probably prevented a massacre there similar to that which had taken place in Smyrna, suspected the hand of the Vatican in this proposal to remove the patriarchate. For, as the advisor to the Archbishop of Canterbury on Near Eastern questions, J.A. Douglas, said: “No one with the slightest knowledge of the Near East can doubt that Rome is bitterly hostile to the Phanar, and reckons a disaster to it as an institution to be a great thing.” (Alexandris, op. cit., pp. 90, 91)
[25] Oriente Moderno (The Contemporary East), January 15, 1924, p. 30.
[26] Archimandrite Theocletus A. Strangas, Ekklesias Hellados Historia, ek pegon apseudon, 1817-1967 (A History of the Church of Greece from Unlying Sources, 1817-1967), vol. 2, Athens, 1970, p. 1181 (in Greek); translated by Kitskikis, op. cit., p. 18.
[27] Antonios Markou, “I Osia Eleni tou Kavkasou”, Koropi, Attica, 2001 (in Greek).

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