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Answer to the Central Board of Jewish Community in Greece



To the Central Board
of Jewish Community in Greece,


28th of March 2001

Dear Beloved,

With much grief I have read your letter of 20th of March which can be characterized only as a product of weak faith and poor memory.

I have had all reasons to believe that you Greek Jews should have been heralds of the historical truth according to which anti-semitism has already been described in Bible, has a purely theological interpretation, and has evidently been a pre-christian phenomenon. That is, Dear Beloved, the enemies of Jews did not expect, through all centuries, the coming out of identity cards in order to invent mechanisms for Jews' extermination. Besides, to crematories were not led only the Jews who had their faith written on their identity cards, whilst those who had not such cards evaded the suffering and lived without having experienced the horror of camps.

But it has caused to me great and justifiable uneasiness the fact that writing to me, instead of adducing God's Word, instead of Prophets' Writings, you have referred to journalists. I beg you not to abandon the faith of your forefathers but go on having it and its Truth as your own leader and defender.

However, I have to make clear to you, Dear Beloved, as to all who are interested in the issue that I have never accused Jews of "secret actions" against Christians. Exactly the opposite: I have already referred to the Jews of USA, who, in order to make the whole thing known to the international public, did published on their internet site, months on end, what they had asked from their official Greek inerlocutor in 1996.

Those who acted secretly were not Jews but Greek politicians, who have hidden from the people, that is, whose the request had granted and for what reasons. Besides, I think that dear Mr. Moses Konstandinidis would surely remember that, in March 1999, he accompanied members of World Jewish Committee from New York to my office, so that we might discuss the removal of our Church's reservations concerning the substraction of faith from the Greek identity cards. It should be noted that in Israel faith is written on their identity cards.

Seizing the opportunity, I would like to remind you that the Church of Greece has recently published a book which presents documents of the fight of the Church of Greece against the Nazism. In that massive volume there is a special chapter in which have been recorded the fight for the protection of Greek Jews. The Church of Greece in order to protect Jews from Nazi didn't hesitate even to violate its Canon Law. I would have expected the Central Board of Jewish Community to take particular care for presenting that edition, which presents rare data of Greek Jews history. The Church has no reasons to wish to be honoured, but you have any reason to do it, honouring the memory of Christian clergy, priests and prelates who clasped your persecuted fathers and mothers in their arms.

Jews in other countries may not understand this, but you should have been aware that the Church of Greece has been on your side at times of hardship, taking all the pursued children of God under its wing.

However, I do wish God not to allow a new trial of His children. And I do wish all His children rest on His arm and not on their own forces and policies.

I remain with best wishes

+Christodoulos, Bishop of Athens

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