Pope Wants Juridical Statute in Greece


#1

John Paul II wants the minority Catholic Church in Greece to be given a juridical statute in that country, as is the case in the rest of the European Union.

The Pope expressed that request in a message sent from the Gemelli Polyclinic to Stavros Lykidis, Greece’s new ambassador to the Holy See.

In the text written in French and handed today to the career diplomat by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Holy Father mentions the importance that the Greek government attributes to the Catholic presence in the country.

“It would be opportune that the Catholic Church, continuing an open and constructive dialogue with all the authorities affected, might have the juridical statute that corresponds to it, and which would be the sign of the full recognition of its rights,” says the papal message.

The Pope noted that such a practice exists “in the whole of the countries of the European Union.”

About 97% of Greece’s 10.6 million inhabitants are Orthodox. Orthodoxy is the official state religion, as recognized in Article 3 of the Constitution. There are about 200,000 Catholics in Greece, including 50,000 of Greek origin…

zenit.org/english/
Code: ZE05030703
Date: 2005-03-07


#2

[quote=HagiaSophia]There are about 200,000 Catholics in Greece, including 50,000 of Greek origin…

zenit.org/english/
[/quote]

Zenit is cupable of a gross misrepresentation.

The Annuario Pontifico for 2004 gives 2,300 Catholics in Greece. This is a reputable and official Vatican source for statistics.

cnewa.org/Roberson-eastcath-statistics/eastcatholic-stat04.pdf


#3

Whatever the small number of catholics in the country there should be authentic freedom to choose the church you go to. The relationship between church and state in Greece and Russia is very unhealthy and has only contrbibuted to the problems Greece is sadly having right now. Perhaps if they were dependant on the faithful instead of the state the level of corruption would go down.


#4

[quote=Maccabees]Whatever the small number of catholics in the country there should be authentic freedom to choose the church you go to. The relationship between church and state in Greece and Russia is very unhealthy and has only contrbibuted to the problems Greece is sadly having right now. Perhaps if they were dependant on the faithful instead of the state the level of corruption would go down.
[/quote]

I don’t see a great level of corruption in the Greek Church although the media would like you to think so, and it dominates the Greek TV channels which we receive in this country.

But I believe Greece has 120 bishops (Prodromos, please correct me) and only 2 are involved in these scandals.

What do you see as unhealthy in a Church-State relationship? I don’t mean specifically with Greece, but as a general principle?

We find that the Catholic Church in the States is dependent on the faithful (for its income) but the level of corruption has been very high all the same. One thing that the Greek Government could consider is to involve itself in a closer oversight and accountability for the tax funds which it allocates to the Church. I believe that a Greek bishop receives a Government salary which is equivalent to an army General (Prodromos?)


#5

The catholic church hierachy thought it wouldn’t be caught but now they will have to answer and their donations will be hit already they have already had to sell church property such as churches, church retreat centers, etc There will be hard consequences for their actions.
Church giving will be down for years.

The Greek church will have no such consequnces to live with the money will come in no matter what the corruption. THe Catholic Church in America will have incentive to change its ways or else suffer more.
Considering your Russian I would expect once to have no problem with the church state realtionship but common now that goes bad when your state turns bad on the church your dependant on the favors of politicans you have to cut backboard deals to get what you want. Instead of out evangelziing other faiths you become lazy and just call the right people up and throw away competing christian churches. End of problems you can continue in your corrution without having the faithful having an option to go somewhere else.


#6

[quote=Maccabees]The Greek church will have no such consequnces to live with the money will come in no matter what the corruption. THe Catholic Church in America will have incentive to change its ways or else suffer more.
Considering your Russian I would expect once to have no problem with the church state realtionship but common now that goes bad when your state turns bad on the church your dependant on the favors of politicans you have to cut backboard deals to get what you want. Instead of out evangelziing other faiths you become lazy and just call the right people up and throw away competing christian churches. End of problems you can continue in your corrution without having the faithful having an option to go somewhere else.
[/quote]

That’s a whole pile of unsubstantiated accusations against the Churches of Russia and Greece. Would you be able to offer facts instead of merely doing a “hatchet job”? After all, as Christians we are supposed to be able to "account for every idle word’?


#7

Dear Fr. Ambrose:

You posted:

Zenit is cupable of a gross misrepresentation.

The Annuario Pontifico for 2004 gives 2,300 Catholics in Greece. This is a reputable and official Vatican source for statistics.

I think you, yourself, are guilty of “gross misrepresentation!” :stuck_out_tongue:

The number you cited from Fr. Roberson’s figures, based on the 2004 Annuario Pontificio, refers to Greek “Greek Catholics,” or more commonly known as Eastern Catholics.

The number cited by ZENIT covers both Latin Rite and Eastern Rite Catholics within Greece, which reports that there are around 200,000 Catholics (East and West) in Greece. I believe there are around 50,000 Filipinos alone, mostly Roman (Latin) Catholics, immigrant workers or married to Greek nationals in Greece. The other nationalities, mostly from Europe, are, likewise, immigrant workers or married to Greek nationals. As the news item clarifies, there are about 50,000 Catholics of “pure” Greek nationality.

At any rate, the point raised by the article is the apparent foot-dragging by the Greek government as far as the grant and/or implementation of the bilateral agreement between Greece and the Holy See, which led to the exchange of diplomatic representatives in the first place. This should have been followed by the grant by the Greek government of the juridical status of the Catholic Church in Greece.

This came to the fore as the new Greek Ambassador to the Holy See presented his credentials at the Vatican, specially noting that only Greece, of all the countries in the European Union, has failed thus far to grant such a juridical status.


#8

[quote=Fr Ambrose]I don’t see a great level of corruption in the Greek Church although the media would like you to think so, and it dominates the Greek TV channels which we receive in this country.

But I believe Greece has 120 bishops (Prodromos, please correct me) and only 2 are involved in these scandals.

What do you see as unhealthy in a Church-State relationship? I don’t mean specifically with Greece, but as a general principle?

We find that the Catholic Church in the States is dependent on the faithful (for its income) but the level of corruption has been very high all the same. One thing that the Greek Government could consider is to involve itself in a closer oversight and accountability for the tax funds which it allocates to the Church. I believe that a Greek bishop receives a Government salary which is equivalent to an army General (Prodromos?)
[/quote]

Do the GOA bishops in the US also recieve this salary? May explain why they refuse to create an American Patriarchate…


#9

[quote=Amadeus]The number cited by ZENIT covers both Latin Rite and Eastern Rite Catholics within Greece, which reports that there are around 200,000 Catholics (East and West) in Greece.
[/quote]

Apologies, but that’s nonsense. My own country has 350,000 Roman Catholics and several thousand churches. Where are all the churches in Greece if there are 200,000 Roman Catholics there?

The CIA gives these figures:

Greek Orthodox 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%

cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/gr.html

The population of Greece is 10,648,000 (in 2004).

0.7% of 10,648,000 amounts to 74,500 people.

So the maximum number of Roman Catholics in Greece cannot be more than 74,500, and in fact it is considerably less.


#10

Fr. Ambrose:

The CIA figures are based on Greek Citizens. We’ve just had one poster state that there are over 50,000 Migrant Workers who are Catholics. That would bring the TOTAL to a MINIMUM of 125,000, which is two full orders of magnitude higher than the figures you initially quoted. And, is MUCH CLOSER to ZENIT’s figures than the ones you originally quoted.

[quote=Fr Ambrose]Apologies, but that’s nonsense. My own country has 350,000 Roman Catholics and several thousand churches. Where are all the churches in Greece if there are 200,000 Roman Catholics there?

The CIA gives these figures:

Greek Orthodox 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%

cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/gr.html

The population of Greece is 10,648,000 (in 2004).

0.7% of 10,648,000 amounts to 74,500 people.

So the maximum number of Roman Catholics in Greece cannot be more than 74,500, and in fact it is considerably less.
[/quote]

But, in the final analysis, that doesn’t matter. What matters is that a Christian nation is refusing to allow fellow members of the body of Christ the legal protections to worship Our Lord in a manner consistant with the dictates of their consciences. Father, we are trying to convince Islamic nations to allow Religious freedom in their midst so that those who aren’t Muslims can worship God in the way their religions require so long as they don’t violate rational human law.

Father, how do you think we’re going to do that when we can’t even convince Christian countries such as Greece and Russia to do that with the Catholic worshippers in their midst?

Remember, Our Lord said to treat other believers as we wanted them to treat us. How would you want the Government of Ireland to treat the Orthodox minority in its midst? Do you want them to treat them as Greece is treating its Catholics?

And, how do you think this looks to Our Lord who said that you are doing these Catholics in Greece you are doing “to Him”?

I’m sorry, but the issue is really that basic, and no amount of hemming and hawing about population will change that fact.

Blessings and Peace, Michael


#11

[quote=Traditional Ang]Fr. Ambrose:

The CIA figures are based on Greek Citizens. We’ve just had one poster state that there are over 50,000 Migrant Workers who are Catholics.
[/quote]

I am not disputing the 50,000 Filipino workers in Greece.

Subtract that 50,000 from the 200,000 figure given by Zenit and you are left with 150,000 Catholics in Greece. Nonsense! The maximum number of all non-Orthodox and Muslims in Greece is 74,500 (0.7% of the population.) That is less than HALF the figure claimed by Zenit.

BUT, let’s assume that there are 150,000 Greeks who are Catholics. Can you guess how many Catholic churches there would be in Greece to care for this number of Catholics?

How many Catholic churches are there in Greece?

Roman Catholic stats in some countries are notoriously unreliable. Greece, Iraq, Russia…


#12

[quote=Maccabees]Considering your Russian I would expect once to have no problem with the church state realtionship but common now that goes bad when your state turns bad on the church your dependant on the favors of politicans you have to cut backboard deals to get what you want. Instead of out evangelziing other faiths you become lazy and just call the right people up and throw away competing christian churches. End of problems you can continue in your corrution without having the faithful having an option to go somewhere else.
[/quote]

Maccabees:

Fr. Ambrose is an Irish convert to Orthodoxy who ministers to a parish in New Zealand.

I believe his only personal knowledge of the Church in Russia was from when he went through monestary and Seminary training in the 1970’s. The Communists were in control then, so I image he didn’t see any corruption in the Russian Orthodox Church then, because they were dealing with real persecution then.

He’s definitely not lazy when it comes to going after converts.

Blessings and peace, Michael


#13

[quote=Traditional Ang]He’s definitely not lazy when it comes to going after converts.

[/quote]

But I cannot compete with the ex-Catholic priest John Hepworth who is now in the process of converting 300,000 Anglicans to the Roman Catholic Church!! How does he do it?? :slight_smile: Could he have been a Catholic agent all along? :wink:


#14

State Department on Greece: the article is very vague, but interesting.


#15

Fr. Ambrose:

Excuse me while I get the shallilegh! There!

The Vatican is complaining that the Catholic Church is NOT being provided the LEGAL PROTECTIONS that would allow them to build the churches that you claim would be needed to take care of all of those Catholics.

We know from the early Post Apostolic Age that Churches that do not have LEGAL PROTECTIONS meet in people’s homes and use other people’s buildings! The don’t go out and build their own buildings, because they don’t have the LEGAL PROTECTIONS needed to do that on the scale needed.

[quote=Fr Ambrose]I am not disputing the 50,000 Filipino workers in Greece.

Subtract that 50,000 from the 200,000 figure given by Zenit and you are left with 150,000 Catholics in Greece. Nonsense! The maximum number of all non-Orthodox and Muslims in Greece is 74,500 (0.7% of the population.) That is less than HALF the figure claimed by Zenit.

BUT, let’s assume that there are 150,000 Greeks who are Catholics. Can you guess how many Catholic churches there would be in Greece to care for this number of Catholics?

How many Catholic churches are there in Greece?

Roman Catholic stats in some countries are notoriously unreliable. Greece, Iraq, Russia…
[/quote]

And, Father, this is a DIVERSION from the real questions, which are what I stated:

Can you say that the Greeks are treating these Catholics as they would want to be treated if they were the minority in Greece? or, Would you approve of this treatment if it were meted out to the Orthodox minority in Ireland, Holland, Germany, or any other EU Member State? Could you say that they are treating their Brothers in Christ the way they want to be treated themselves?

Can you say that the Greeks would be so eager to deny these legal protections to the Catholics in Greece if they understood that they are doing this to Our Lord Himself per His words in Matt. 25? Would they be proud of their actions then?

And, How can we convince Islamic Nations to protect the rights of members other religions in their countries and to provide Religious Freedom to NON-Muslims if Christian Nations such as Greece and Russia refuse to provide those legal protections to NON-Orthodox Christians??

Father, the Population numbers have nothing to do with these questions.

Blessings to you on the Fast of Great Lent, Michael


#16

[quote=Traditional Ang]The Vatican is complaining that the Catholic Church is NOT being provided the LEGAL PROTECTIONS that would allow them to build the churches that you claim would be needed to take care of all of those Catholics.
[/quote]

Would you be able to substantiate this extraordinarily nasty accusation. :frowning:


#17

[quote=Fr Ambrose]Zenit is cupable of a gross misrepresentation.

The Annuario Pontifico for 2004 gives 2,300 Catholics in Greece. This is a reputable and official Vatican source for statistics.

cnewa.org/Roberson-eastcath-statistics/eastcatholic-stat04.pdf
[/quote]

Fr.
That 2.300 is only the Greek Catholic Church, there are Ukrainians, Armenians, Maronites, Chaldeans, Melkites, Syriacs, Albanians, not including the thousands of Latins.

See Here for just the Eastern Churches from 2004 (doesn’t include Latins).


#18

[quote=Traditional Ang]Can you say that the Greeks are treating these Catholics as they would want to be treated if they were the minority in Greece? or, Would you approve of this treatment if it were meted out to the Orthodox minority in Ireland, Holland, Germany, or any other EU Member State? Could you say that they are treating their Brothers in Christ the way they want to be treated themselves?
[/quote]

Are you aware of that the Vatican demanded that the thousands of Catholics who converted to Orthodoxy in northern Italy after Vatican II should be abandoned by the Russian Orthodox Church? The Vatican claimed that the Orthodox were proselytizing on Catholic territory? Now, ironically, they are doing it themselves in Russia! The dreadful thing is that the Russians caved in to Catholic pressure and simply abandoned all those Italian parishes. Most now form part of the non-canonical “Synod of Milan.” Is this the treatment from the Catholics which you would approve of for the Orthodox, as per your questions above?

Can you say that the Greeks would be so eager to deny these legal protections to the Catholics in Greece if they understood that they are doing this to Our Lord Himself per His words in Matt. 25? Would they be proud of their actions then?

Do you not mind that the Catholics did this to our Lord and His people in Northern Italy? Are you proud of their actions?


#19

[quote=Fr Ambrose]But I cannot compete with the ex-Catholic priest John Hepworth who is now in the process of converting 300,000 Anglicans to the Roman Catholic Church!! How does he do it?? :slight_smile: Could he have been a Catholic agent all along? :wink:
[/quote]

Fr. Ambrose:

Not if you listened to the UNWELCOMING COMMITTEE from the “Anglicans to Rome” thread. I think they were claiming that he was from someplace else! In fact, I think they were trying to palm us off on you! :smiley:

Luckily, they seem to be in the minority, but I had to bring in Catholics from around the world to get a fair survey!

Goodnight - I’m dead on my feet, and so are you! Remember, you have to hear confessions tomorow and try to rest for Divine Liturgy on Sunday>>>Please take care of your ticker.

Blessings to you and your congregation, Michael


#20

[quote=Fr Ambrose]Are you aware of that the Vatican demanded that the thousands of Catholics who converted to Orthodoxy in northern Italy after Vatican II should be abandoned by the Russian Orthodox Church? The Vatican claimed that the Orthodox were proselytizing on Catholic territory? Now, ironically, they are doing it themselves in Russia! The dreadful thing is that the Russians caved in to Catholic pressure and simply abandoned all those Italian parishes. Most now form part of the non-canonical “Synod of Milan.” Is this the treatment from the Catholics which you would approve of for the Orthodox, as per your questions above?

Do you not mind that the Catholics did this to our Lord and His people in Northern Italy? Are you proud of their actions?
[/quote]

Didn’t the Pope donate a few Churches to the Russian Orthodox?


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