Posted by Niko on May 07, 2001 at 05:59:49:
In Reply to: Re: The Pope's visit to Greece posted by Somebody on May 06, 2001 at 23:32:02:
I think it only becomes somewhat of a contest (I think clash is a better word though)when two opposing views come in contact with eachother. But generally I don't think a contest exists in the minds of the Greeks, maybe for the Orthodox church because a big part of its daily function is to support itself, its existence. But I really don't think that Greeks sit down on a daily basis and say Orthodoxy is the right way. It is like being in America, I have to go to school, work, etc. so I am not taking the time to sit and see if our democracy, or democracy is the best. But if I were to see a news report on the Taleban in Afghanistan, I probably would begin to compare the two systems for that brief moment. As for the Greeks not being very European, what does that mean exactly? What are the standards, besides democratic institutions, the respect for human rights, and positive participation in the global community? Is the far-right Austrian Freedom Party and Joerg Haider examples of Europeaness? Is it very European for Germany to give people in Russia german citizenship who can prove that they have german ancestry, when second generation turkish-germans can't even get citizenship, although their grandparents helped rebuild the country? Does europeaness mean being western european, because Greece has always been considered part of Western Europe, although it clearly is not geographically? It sounds like just because the Greek church did not condone the visit of the Pope Greeks weren't being European. It sounds like your saying that if the host country does not accept the practices of the guest country then they are not acting properly. I guess when the EU flat out said no to the importation of meat from America which came from farm animals that had been given steroids and what not, they were not acting very European. I will put it in a smaller context. You probably wouldn't invite a drug user into your home, so he could shoot up in your living room (I don't know maybe you would, but you know what I am getting at). Of course you wouldn't crucify him either for his choices, but you definately would not want him in your space. (And know I am not comparing the Pope to a drug user.) The Greek Church did not react so irrationally. They haven't in the past pursued a fervent anti-catholic campaign or demonstrated on the streets of Athens everyday since 1054 when the churches split, to bring the demise of the pope. But since he was entering their space, they did.
: "For the person who mentioned that the Greeks believe their form of Christianity is the best. Why wouldn't they?"
: Why is it viewed as some sort of contest?
: "As for the person who said that the Greek Church has alot of influence in Greek politics I don't think if their bargaining power was so great that the Pope would have been coming in the first place."
: I personally recognize the difference between the actual pull the Orthodox Church (or any organized religion in other gov'ts) has in the Greek Parliament (regardless of the "lobbying" or pressure they try to place on the gov't concerning certain issues), and the internal politics that define Church policies or standards. Organized religions are as vulnerable in their desire for good public relations as any political party and Orthodox officials refusing to meet the Pope doesn't project the image of "Greeks are Europeans". Bringing attention to their grievances regarding the Catholic Church and still receiving the Pope despite their indignation that he was even invited gets their point across. Refusing to meet with the Pope at all would've been very bad PR and Orthodox officials know it.
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