The Synod of G.O.C. (Genuine Orthodox Christians) of Archbishop Kallinikos of Athens recently made use of the Law 4301/2014 of the Greek Government. This law has to do with the establishing of so-called religious “communities”.
In Greece, the basic rights of the True Orthodox were already protected by non-profit civil societies, companies, and unions of persons.
When this law concerning the registration of Religious Legal Entities (RLE) came out, it was rejected by most True Orthodox believers and ignored. It would simply have fallen into disuse by the True Orthodox and probably recalled at least as far as the True Orthodox were concerned, because as we will see, it offered denial of the Faith to the True Orthodox in exchange only for worldly benefits. However, the Synod of G.O.C. of Archbishop Kallinikos of Athens saw in this law an opportunity to have privileges from the Greek Government (which currently has a Communist Prime Minister) and also a way to stifle all other True Orthodox groups of Greece and all other dissenters (including members of their own faithful) of their plans.
According to this law, (4301/2014), the State Church of Greece (New Calendar/World Orthodox)
is recognised as the Orthodox Church of Greece without the need to form communities, etc. Also this law exempts and recognises as already known religions, the Muslims of Thrace (Northern Greece) and the Jewish community of Greece (presently officially listed as having only 5000 members in Greece) and thus having no need to subject themselves to gathering signatures and registering “communities”. A respected Greek District Attorney said that this law was “made to order” to entrap the True Orthodox of Greece.
According to Mrs. Stavroula Efstathiadou who is responsible for the Department concerning “the Heterodox and Other Religions” of the Ministry of Education and Religions, and according to Mr. Konstantinos Pittadakis , the head of Religious Administrations of Greece, the Synod of the G.O.C. of Archbishop Kallinikos knowingly agreed to be included in and registered in the category “Heterodox and Other Religions”. In a nation such as Greece, which has its very roots in the Orthodox Faith, to ask to be included in a category that is name “Heterdox and Other Religions” is equal to denying Holy Orthodoxy. By willingly subjecting themselves to Law 4301/2014, the Synod of Archbishop Kallinikos “gifted” the title of “Orthodox Church” to the World Orthodox New Calendar Church of Greece, while they (G.O.C. Kallinikos) accepted to be listed as a Heterodox group like the Protestant groups.
According to Law 4301/2014, 300 signing members can form a “community”. When three such “communities” (which in this case was three dioceses of G.O.C. Kallinikos) are united, they can form a Church (not a parish, or a particular Orthodox temple building, but a capital “C” Church!) Instead of objecting to this wording, the Synod of Archbishop Kallinikos G.O.C. subjected themselves to Law 4301/2014 and having formed three “communities” of at least least 300 signing members they founded, together with the present Ministry of Education and Religion, a “Church”! These three communities are the Religious Legal Entity G.O.C. of Attiki and Boetia, the RLE G.O.C. of Piraeus, and the RLE G.O.C. of Thessalonica.
The Church that we know and believe in was founded by our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ by His precious Blood and consecrated by the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.
According to the legal opinion of Mr. Kyriakos Kyriazopoulos, Professor of Ecclesiastical Law of the School of Law of the Aristotelian University of Thessalonica, the G.O.C. Synod of Archbishop Kallinikos, by intentionally registering in the category of “Heterodox and Other Religions” of the Law 18/2018 of the Ministry of Education and Religions, denied the ecclesiastical truth that the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece are the continuation of the unaltered Faith of the Orthodox Christians as it was before 1924.
The court decision 144/1991 and other such court decisions of the Greek State proclaim that the True Orthodox Christians of Greece are neither “heterodox nor another religion” other than the one that the modern Greek Nation held at its founding in 1821 and as mentioned in Article 3 of the Greek Constitution.
The bishops of the new “Religious Legal Entity G.O.C.” didn’t even object to the blasphemous expressions of “Heterodox” and “founding of a Church”. These bishops rushed to ask for “εύπείθεια” – obedience with conformity and compliance (in other words, blind obedience) from their clergy and flock.
But what was “in it” for the bishops of the “Religious Legal Entity G.O.C”?
According to the legal opinion of the Supreme Court Lawyer Mr. Photios Vagenas, the decisions concerning the “communities” of the Religious Legal Entities (RLE) speak about social and financial benefits and privileges from the forming of these “communities” and “Church”. These benefits include tax exemptions, easier transferrals of property rights to the RLE, rights of overseeing, and “ownership” of the title “G.O.C. (ΓΟΧ)” which is used by all the True Orthodox groups of Greece up until now.
The Synod of Archbishop Kallinikos was aided in their forming of the Religious Legal Entity G.O.C. in the category of “Heterodox” by a lawyer name Ioannis Ktistakis. This Ioannis Ktistakis is a legal advisor to the Patriarchate of Constantinople and a personal friend of “Patriarch” Bartholomew (see the article about Bartholomew’s lunch at the home of Ioannis Ktistakis in the newspaper “Orthodoxos Typos” published on June 25, 2018).
I can only say, that once again, the Synod of Archbishop Kallinikos has a strange choice of advisors!
Much of our information here presented comes from the research that a certain Mr. Marinos Ritsoudis did. Mr. Ritsoudis, a former lieutenant commander of the Greek Navy, is known for his refusal to board the destroyer ship “Themistocles” when it was being sent by order of the NATO to attack the Serbians in 1999.
The former President of the Supreme Court of Greece, Mr. Vasileios Nikopoulos confirmed in a telephone conversation with Marinos Ritsoudis that the Genuine Orthodox Christians of the Synod of Archbishop Kallinikos “illegally and unjustly use Law 4301/2014 and Article 13 of the Constitution”. He went on to say that if the Synod of Archbishop Kallinikos wants to be considered as Orthodox, they are covered by Article 3 of the Constitution of Greece as believers of the Orthodox Church of Christ as it was at the time of the founding of the Greek Nation (1821).
The decision of the Council of the State of Greece, the highest administrative court and the highest court for the legal status of administrative acts, in its decision 1444/1991 reaffirms that the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece hold to the same doctrines that the Orthodox Church held to at the very foundation of the Greek Nation.
At a meeting at the home of Mr. Anastasios Marinos, Vice President of the Supreme Court of Greece, the Vice President himself assured Mr. Ritsoudis that the G.O.C. of Greece are already covered by Article 3 of the Constitution of Greece and by the legal decisions stating once again that the G.O.C. are Orthodox.
So why join the category “Heterodox – Other Religions”?
Metropolitan Photios, the arch secretary of the Synod of Archbishop Kallinikos (now also known as the Religious Legal Entity G.O.C. of the Category of the Heterodox), in an email to Marinos Ritsoudis wrote “that we Genuine Orthodox Christians are the CONTINUATION (emphasis my own) of the predominant religion of Greece (Orthodoxy) is a stupidity”. It is quite clear that Metropolitan Photios doesn’t agree with the above- mentioned legal authorities. Mr. Ritsoudis here comments adding a passage from Article 1 of the Constitution of Greece of 1864 which says, “the predominant religion of Greece is the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ. Every other known religion is tolerated and may worship freely under the protection of the law, without proselytising or intervention against the predominant religion.”
Does Metropolitan Photios believe that that the True Orthodox Church of Greece is not the continuation of the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ?
Truly, the recently founded “Church” of the Religious Legal Entity G.O.C. of 2019 is NOT the continuation of the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ!
Do the 1538 Genuine Orthodox Christians who signed as members of one of the three communities that made up the “Church” of the Religious Legal Entity G.O.C. in the category of “Heterodox” really understand what they signed?