TOC-Kallinikos News: Festal Celebration and Leadership in the Economic Crisis

There have been a couple of events of note in the True Orthodox Church of Greece (under Archbishop Kallinikos of Athens). On July 27 (New Style) a hierarchical concelebration was held for the feast of St Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain, led by Archbishop Kallinikos of Athens with Chrysostomos of Attica, Gregory of Christianopolis, and Bishop Photios of Marathon in attendance.

St Nicodemus the Hagiorite (+1809) was one of the most prolific Orthodox writers and translators of Patristic texts of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Previously, on the 24th, Metropolitan Gerontius of Salamis met with Yannis Vroutsis, the Minister of Labor and Social Security to express concerns on behalf of the people of his diocese who are suffering high levels of unemployment during the economic crisis. Mr. Vroutsis (New Democratic Party) vowed to do whatever was possible to work together to weather the crisis.

The economic crisis in Greece will have different effects on different sectors of society, and this is true even in ecclesiastical matters. Thanks to the relative financial independence of the True Orthodox they are in a better position to assist their flocks than the financially ailing and government-dependent New Calendarists, the Greek economic crisis portends change on the horizon. Already the Moscow Patriarchate has jumped into the fray with a $600,000 donation to its ‘sister church’. But with newspapers complaining about the property values and the $300 million a year on New Calendar priests’ salaries, one has to wonder if the fiscally smarter path (albeit the only choice given) of the Old Calendarists will suddenly create new practical leverage in the battle for the soul of Greece.