Friday, September 17, 2021

Pastoral Encyclical to Clergy Regarding Protective Measures Against the Coronavirus Pandemic (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)


Dear Fathers and Brothers,

As you know, our country and the whole world has been suffering for more than a year and a half from the so-called health crisis, SARS-CoV-2, that causes infection and the disease of Covid-19.

In this matter the State takes the appropriate measures, coordinating with the World Organizations for the health of its citizens, and the Church treats this matter with seriousness, sobriety and responsibility.

Among the measures to prevent infection and disease, and perhaps one of the most important, is the vaccine, as is the case with many other diseases. The Standing Holy Synod took specific decisions on this issue:

On January 13, 2021, it decided: The Holy Synod "closely monitors the issue of vaccinations, through the Synodal Committee on Bioethics, which, with its continuous reports, informs the Synod. In this context, the Holy Synod was informed that, following an investigation, the Covid-19 vaccines currently used in our country do not require the use of embryonic cell cultures for their production.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Vaccines and Ecclesiastical Life


 By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

If some research is done among churchgoers and even during their attendance at the Divine Liturgy, it will be found that all of them have various and varied diseases and, of course, they also make the relevant treatment, following therapeutic guidance.

This is evident from the fact that in every home, especially where young children and the elderly live, there are drawers and separate areas full of medicines.

We are in a time when environmental pollution is prevalent, diseases are on the rise and therefore many medicines are being taken by humans.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Scientific Evidence of a Miracle in Prokopi of Evia During the Raging Fire on August 7, 2021


On August 7, 2021 a litany took place in Prokopi of Evia with sacred relics and the large holy icon of Saint John the Russian, together with the wonderworking icon of Saints Constantine and Helen from the parish of the same name, in which the whole village participated, while it had an evacuation order given due to the raging fire which was fast approaching the village and despite the ban imposed by the government on litanies.

From here we downloaded the file (Live satellite download): https://zoom.earth/

Anyone who wants can enter the site to verify them.

Keep in mind, there was no rain in the forecast.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Encyclical from 1864 Shows the Orthodox Church of Greece Made Vaccination Against Smallpox Mandatory for All Believers


Introduction

The smallpox vaccine, introduced by Edward Jenner in 1796, was the first successful vaccine to be developed. When smallpox devastated Greece in 1864, rulers were trying to find a way to fight it, and the Greek Orthodox Church through an encyclical of the Holy Synod had addressed the local hierarchs and consequently the Body of the Church, promoting the vaccine.

With harsh expressions for the time, the Holy Synod in its encyclical characterizes non-vaccination as a deadly sin, going one step further, calling those who refuse to be vaccinated that may die from the disease as suicides.

It proves that the Church has the maturity and the tools to motivate the faithful to be vaccinated and, above all, to isolate the divergent views within it.

This flashback refutes all those who try to accuse the Church of challenging science, despite the clear statements in favor of vaccinating both by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Hieronymos of Athens and All Greece, among many other Hierarchs throughout the world.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Metropolitan Nicholas of Mesogaia Responds to Questions Regarding Coronovirus Vaccination (Chips, Embryos, Trusting Scientists, Side Effects, etc.)


His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Mesogaia, who has become a trusted ecclesiastical voice in matters related to the coronovirus due to his extensive scientific and Athonite background, ruled out the possibility of creating a "nanosphere" which could enter with the coronavirus vaccine in the body.

Speaking on behalf of the Bioethics Committee of the Church of Greece in an online meeting on "Pandemic Covid-19" organized by the Metropolis of Neapolis and Stavroupolis on January 21st, he clarified that there is no such technology that is being tested, regarding the infamous claim of "chip" implantation through the vaccine.

The Metropolitan of Mesogaia, Nicholas, in an online meeting on the issue of vaccines, added, however, that the "biggest threat from a 'chip' would be our mobile phone; everything is done better through applications than it could be done with a nanosphere that could possibly to get into my body with the vaccine."

Friday, June 18, 2021

"Glorify the Name of God Through Science" (St. Paisios the Athonite)


 By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

The quote I placed in the title of this article are words of Saint Paisios the Athonite from a letter he wrote, which is in fact handwritten.

I say this because some people transmit words Saint Paisios delivered to them orally, which may not be preserved in their authentic expression. If even one word is changed or missing or added it can take on an entirely different meaning.

Reading the book of Hieromonk Paisios, who was a novice under Saint Paisios, titled Perfume Emptied (Μύρον ἐκκενωθέν, published by the Monastery of Saint Hilarion in Promachoi Aridaía), I noticed that he has preserved many incidents from the many years of communication with him, on various matters, and I also read towards the end that he also published two letters Saint Paisios addressed to him.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Orthodoxy and the Theory of Evolution (St. Justin Popovich)

 
A complete human anthropology cannot be discovered through scientific observation alone. For Orthodox Christians, a theological anthropology exists as well, which science must not contradict, but take into account for a true human anthropology to exist in light of divine revelation. For Orthodox Christians, human evolution as observed through science should not obscure this divine revelation. The anthropology of the Church in light of divine revelation is all that is necessary to contemplate for salvation, which means the Church should not trouble itself with scientific debates and theories, but leave those matters to the scientists alone, just as scientists should not trouble itself with matters of divine revelation as if science can ever contradict what is beyond its comprehension and observation.
 
The God-Man Evolution

By St. Justin Popovich

You ask me to answer the question, whether the scientific understanding of the evolution of the world and man can coexist with the traditional Orthodox experience and knowledge. Also, you ask, what is the position of the Fathers on this issue, and whether there is a general need for such a coexistence. In a short summary, I write the following:

The anthropology of the New Testament stands or falls on the anthropology of the Old. The entire Gospel of the Old Testament: Man - the image of God! The entire Gospel of the New Testament: the God-man - image of man! Whatever is heavenly, divine, eternal, immortal and unchangeable in humans is the image of God, the godlikeness of man.

This godlikeness of man was assaulted by the voluntary sin of the same, in partnership with the devil, by means of sin and death which stems from the transgression. That is why God became man, in order to restore His corrupt image from sin. That is why He incarnated and lived in the world of man as the God-man, as the Church, to offer the image of God - man - all the necessary means so that this deformed God-formed man can be able in the God-man body of the Church, with the help of Sacred Mysteries and virtues, to mature "to a perfect man, to the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13). This is the God-man anthropology. The purpose of godlike beings known as humans is one: to become gradually perfect as God the Father, to become a god by grace, to attain theosis, deification, Christification, Trinitification. According to the Holy Fathers, "God became man, that man may become a god" (Athanasius the Great).

But the so-called "scientific" anthropology does not recognize the godlikeness of human existence. With this, they deny the advancement of the God-man evolution of the human being.

If man is not the image of God, then the God-man and His Gospel is something unnatural for such a man, something mechanical and unattainable. Then the God-man Jesus is a robot built by other robots. The God-man becomes a bully because He wants from people, forcibly, to become a perfect being like God. In essence we are talking about a forensic utopia, an illusion and an unattainable "ideal". In the end, it is reduced to a myth, a narrative.

If man, therefore, is not a godlike being, then the God-man Himself is unnecessary because the scientific theories of evolution do not accept sin, nor the Savior from sin. In the secular world of "evolution" everything is natural and there is no room for sin to exist. That is why it is a joke to speak of a Savior and salvation from sin. In the final analysis everything is natural: sin, evil and death. For, if everything in man occurs and is the result of evolution, then there is nothing that needs to be saved in him since nothing is immortal and unchangeable within him, but all is earthly and clay and as such are transient, perishable and perceptible.

In such a world of "evolution" there is no place for the Church, which is the body of the God-man Christ. The theology which again bases itself on the anthropology of the "scientific" theory of evolution is nothing more than a self-negation. In essence it is a theology without God and an anthropology without man. If man is not immortal, eternal and a God-man image of God, then all theologies and all anthropologies are nothing but a silly joke, a tragic comedy.

Orthodox theology and the relationship we have with the Holy Fathers is the way for our ascent to the God-man, the Orthodox All-truth. This is something in need of analysis, and is for those dealing with issues of the gospel on the planet. All the problems of the gospel are essentially focused on the problem of man. And all the problems of man are focused on one issue, that of the God-man. Only the God-man is the universal solution to the enigma called man. Without the God-man and outside of the God-man, man is always - consciously or not - transformed into something sub-human, a human effigy, a superman, a devil-man. Proof and evidence for this? The entire history of mankind.

Source: Translation by John Sanidopoulos.
 
 

Thursday, May 13, 2021

George Blatzas, the Doctor of Saint Paisios, Has Reposed


George Blatzas reposed in the Lord on the Monday of Renewal Week, 3 May 2021, on the feast of his patron saint, the great martyr George.

George Blatzas was not only a leading surgeon, but also a consistent Christian and confessor of the Christian faith from his teenage years, as a mediator of the civil strife. The spiritual son of the preacher of the Metropolis of Kitros and Katerini and later a well-known missionary of Africa, Fr. Charitonos Pneumatikakis, he had a connection early with Mount Athos and especially with Saint Paisios.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

A 2019 Scientific Study on the Characteristics and Effects of the Holy Light of Jerusalem

Prof. Giulio Fanti experimenting with the properties of the Holy Light

Giulio Fanti, Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Padua, presented an interesting paper in 2019 titled "Is the 'Holy Fire' Related to the Turin Shroud?". Below is the summary:

This paper presents the experimental results obtained on the “Holy Fire” (HF) in the Edicule of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. It is not the aim of the present paper to study how the HF is formed, but that to study its characteristics and effects and to detect if these features are in some way comparable with those typical of the Turin Shroud (TS). The following experiments have been performed and discussed: HF temperature and spectrum; photos in visible light and infrared; effects of the HF and of a common fire (CF) on linen fabrics; possible air ionization in the environment of the Holy Sepulcher. While some results appear not easy to explain from a scientific point of view, some experiments seem to show no appreciable difference between the HF and a CF. In addition to these experiments, the author detected various series of strikes of lightening emitted at regular intervals at a frequency variable from 3 to 10 Hz, not easy to explain because not typical of flashes produced by photographers. Various facts connected to the HF appear related to what it has been detected in reference to the TS that shows a double image of a man up to now not reproducible nor explainable and, in agreement with the Christian tradition, that shows some traces of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Read the full paper here.
 
For more information on the Holy Light, see here.
 
 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Further Updates and Clarifications of Vaccinations on Mount Athos


Since I am occasionally asked to update information and clarify matters regarding the vaccination of the monks of Mount Athos, with some even denying that it is taking place or overly downplaying it, I decided to make my own personal contacts with people I know on the Holy Mountain and have also sought reports directly coming from Mount Athos to provide the latest information, as of April 13th 2021.

- There was a long delay in sending the vaccines from Athens to Mount Athos, endangering the lives of the older monks and of monks with underlying diseases.

- Vaccinations started about three weeks ago, but only with 120 vaccines available, which were given in five days. No other vaccines had been sent to Mount Athos.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Spiritual Benefits of Sicknesses, Doctors and Medicines (Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra)


By Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra

So when someone does not want to take medicines, or if they do not want to go to a doctor, whatever their illness, they show how they are governed by an individual-centred system of life, or they show that they are guilty, and therefore hide. Like, when you ask for someone and they don't show up, then you ask for them again and they don't show up again, so you say, they must have done something, something is happening, so likewise is anyone who hates medicine or drugs that is seriously ill physically, above all mentally. He is a nonsensical man, for it says, "a sensible man will not despise them" (Sirach 38). He is a nonsensical man, a nonsensical woman, incorrigible, unrepentant, he doesn't care about God, but only cares about his worm-eaten body and worm-eaten soul as he sees fit, just in case he can get out to the seashore. But medicine and doctors show that we lay the administration of our existence to God, that we are not the rulers of ourselves.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Update on the Vaccinations of the Monks on Mount Athos


Below is an update to my last post, due to popular request.

The Pfizer vaccines arrived at the Karyes Health Center on Friday and the vaccinations started immediately, and they should be completed within a week.

The second dose is scheduled for within the first ten days of April.

About 500 people, mostly monks, but also lay people who have been living on Mount Athos for a long time, have received the vaccine so far.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Monks of Mount Athos Begin to be Vaccinated


A Coast Guard boat delivered the first 400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Friday, March 19, to Mount Athos and vaccinations began immediately.

The vaccination center was set up at the Health Center in Karyes under the supervision of the director, Konstantinos Dokouslis.

The first 36 monks were vaccinated on Friday, as well as employees-collaborators of monasteries, while the vaccinations will continue daily.

The abbot of the Holy Monastery of Esphigmenou, Archimandrite Bartholomew, was the first to be vaccinated, followed by monks from the Monasteries of Iveron, Koutloumousiou, Simonos Petras, who were there especially for this purpose in Karyes.

Friday, March 19, 2021

The Orthodox Church and Science Today: An Interview With Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos (2 of 2)


K.H.: So we are to understand, Your Eminence, with what you are telling us that beyond the pandemic, the vaccine, the lockdown, all these situations we live in, there are a number of other issues that have to do with the relationship between theology and science and between the Church and the State.

M.H.: Do you want me to be more raw in how I say it? I don't know if it will provoke. When we say the word "superstition", what do we mean? If you open Babiniotis' dictionary you will see that superstition is the irrational belief in supernatural and mysterious forces that rule the world and affect our lives. This is superstition, where they do not believe in the real God, or that God rules the world, but it is directed by some invisible forces. And this is an expression of religion. Religion, said Father John Romanidis, has the element of mysticism, superstition and magic. Why? Because, when one believes that there are supernatural forces, mysterious, impersonal forces that rule the world and influence people, UFOs and whatever else, then immediately magic follows.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Orthodox Church and Science Today: An Interview With Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos (1 of 2)

 

This was a recorded interview by the journalist Katerina Houzouri with Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos on the issue of Orthodoxy and Science regarding contemporary issues, conducted for the Radio Station of the Church of Greece on 4 January 2021.
 
Katerina Houzouri: We have the special pleasure and honor to host His Eminence the Metropolitan of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou Mr. Hierotheos. Your Eminence, we wish you a Happy New Year.

Metropolitan Hierotheos: Good morning to you and the listeners. May you be well, have strength, health and most importantly have inspiration. This is very important because all our saints talk about inspiration. That is, the Christian, as both Saint Porphyrios and Saint Sophronios said, resembles the poet. Just as the poet and the artist is inspired, when he starts in the morning, he is inspired and he begins to create his work, so we must be inspired for God, for life, for love and for God, and so on. It is something I would like to emphasize today at the beginning to the listeners and offer my wish: Let us have spiritual inspiration.

Friday, January 15, 2021

"A Blessing and Gift of God": Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus Is Vaccinated

 
On Friday, 15 January 2021, Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus was the first in his Metropolis to receive the vaccination against Covid-19, in a symbolic move to give assurance to all in his Metropolis to likewise be vaccinated. This was done before the administrative and nursing staff, as well as the residents, of the Piraeus Nursing Home, which has been in operation for 130 years, were vaccinated.

"The advancement of science in the service of man is always a blessing and a gift from God," said the Metropolitan.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The New Vaccine Against the Coronavirus from a Scientific Perspective

 
The following information was published 
by the Metropolis of Nafpaktos

Vaccination throughout Europe and in our country began on 27 December 2020 and continues. Our Metropolitan [Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou] was among the first to be vaccinated and in fact the first of the Hierarchs and all the Clergy of the Church, after he asked three specialist University professors in Greece and four professors-researchers in American Universities regarding the safety of the vaccine, and after his own study of the scientific texts. He recorded his views on the subject in a text titled "Why I Was Vaccinated", which has been published.