The noise surrounding the statements of the titular Metropolitan of Dodoni was not only unjustified.
Why didn’t he formulate some fixed positions of the church.
He gave a misogynistic sermon, which is not corrected by the remedial statement he made afterwards.
But I don’t want to just deal with what an old prelate said.
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I believe a larger issue emerges about how the Church sees its role in the 21st century.
And the reason is that at the moment we are observing two contradictory but also in a way complementary trends.
On the one hand, the world is changing in all its aspects: forms of production, habits, aesthetics, variations in interpersonal relationships, families are changing. Our tolerance for diversity is widening. We understand that life is a “rainbow”.
On the other hand, religious sentiment generally does not subside. People are still looking for an existential way out in faith.
The Church is based on faith, but this is normally combined with a conservative model of life, which perhaps in some aspects does not seem compatible with how we define the modern way of life and the rights of people within it.
This naturally raises the question of a difficult balance between not losing touch with a changing world and maintaining its inner coherence. In the final analysis, faith is an existential choice, not just “identity”.
Various “temptations” are born in this landscape.
And one of them is to choose a path that can be described as “religious extreme right”.
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We see this with other denominations abroad: most notably the Evangelical Christians in the US who are the hard core of Trumpism’s electoral base and have thrown their weight behind both pro-abortion and pro-gun.
This is the last thing we need in a society like the Greek one.
No one is asking the Church to change its views or modify its doctrine.
Believers have the right to accept the commitments that faith imposes, although we all know that in practice the Church is more forgiving and open-hearted.
However, today the Church cannot try to intervene in issues that have been definitively and irrevocably closed for Greek society and the legal order, whether it is about abortions and the right of women to their own bodies or about the modernization of family law.
It does not play the role of a neoconservative and neo-obscurantist lobby.
It does not suit its deep roots in Greek society and how it has become a factor of solidarity and social cohesion.
It should be about love and not hate.