Greek Orthodox Bishop in Australia Disparages Greek Americans in Remarks


A bishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia took a swipe at Greek Americans in remarks following a church service at the All Saints parish in suburban Sydney, telling a visiting Metropolitan from Greece that “we Greek Australians are not like the Greeks in America.”

Bishop Seraphim of Apollonia, a high ranking bishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia was giving welcoming remarks to Metropolitan Ignatios of Dimitriados, who was visiting Australia from his native Greece.

The Australian bishop went on to say that he should rest assured that Australian Greeks, clergy and lay people alike, remain faithful to Greece. He went on to say that “We Greek Australians are not like the Greeks in America.”

“We have helped Greece as an Archdiocese and we will continue to do so, because we, the Greeks of Australia are not like the Greeks in America. Here, we hold on more to the language, to the traditions and heritage” and calling Greek Australians “more genuine” than Greek Americans.

He goes on to thank God for allowing Greek Australians to prosper and build communities and institutions and prosper.

See the video embedded below or click here to watch on YouTube.



  1. just one more reason to leave the hypocritical orthodox church(?) it has been a stumbling block for ellada now for some 60 odd years. stone-aged mentality. this bishop is a traitor & divider in the greek community. ANAXIOS!

  2. He is absolutely right, look at the "Greek" orthodox churches in Denver, -the assumption cathedral and st. Catherine's…..the assumption cathedral has the Greek festival ( yes it helps with revenue but really it exists so we don't loose our cultural identity same with Greek school) then you go to st. Catherine's and despite having Russian orthodox churches, Ethiopian orthodox church's and many many others the service is done in like 8 languages and ultimately it's only done fully in English- there are no activitys to help our understanding of Greek culture- eventually all the "greek" churches in america will be "American "orthodox- i am convinced it will happen before I die, just wait an see

  3. You have got to be kidding me !! Way to divide the Greeks worldwide. Shame on you. As a man of the “church” you should be joining everyone together. Come to America and we will show you just how GREEK we are !!!

    • Proud Greek Aussie on

      Sorry mate but we more than know how to make an amazing lamb on a spit!!!!!!!! Would beat yours hands down any time.

  4. Ilias Markos on

    this maybe true because in America one is taught to be American first from a child and in OZ many of the Greeks came off the boat and could not get US Citizenship . Let us not forget US PRESIDENT HARRY S TRUMAN & THE POST WW2 MARSHAL PLAN THAT SAVED GREECE .

  5. What a souper malaka!None of the Greek aystralian kids know how to put a lamb on the spit.As soon as the parents go,the end!.As for charities to Greece the ratio is about 5 to 1.But is a Bishop's job to divide or unite?What a super jealous malaka that he wish to be a Greek American instead!

  6. Evangelos C Gatseos on

    I'm not the most religious Greek, but I understand the importance of the Greek Orthodox Church as a tool to ensure the continuation of Greek culture, language and traditions. Even though they were poor and uneducated, with determination and church, Greeks were able to hold onto their heritage and language during nearly 400 years of Turkish occupation and if it weren't for the churches and the Greek Schools they provide, the language would have fizzled out into nothing. It bothers me so much when young "Greeks" are not taken to Greek school by their parents and do not learn the language.

  7. Cynthia Loukas on

    And, there in lies the problem. We need to think more broadly, albeit globally. The
    “Greek Orthodox Church” refers to one part of the body of several Churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Our ethnicity should not supersede our religion.

  8. Bill Kotamanidis on

    Whilst the bishops words may be deemed as harsh to some, one has to understand the dynamics behind Greek diaspora communities in each country to better draw their opinions. Retention of the Greek identity has constantly been under the influence of both American and Australian cultures now for decades.One needs to look very closely at population demographics of those with Greek ethnicity in both countries (USA 1% vs Aust 4%), the immigration influx period (USA 1920-52 vs Aust 1945-65), geographic remoteness from the motherland, and a number of other factors to better understand the erosion of the Greek cultural identity in both these countries.This may help in explaining some of the reasoning behind this bishops words. This is my take on things…Regards, Baz from OZ.

  9. Jennifer Avros on

    I converted and married a Greek American, and do not expect the church to change for me. I will caution that as a non-Greek spouse, the cultural need to prove “who is the most Greek outside of Greece” argument is tiring. It alienates seekers of Christ and spouses of cradle Orthodox into never wanting to return to church– a feeling of never having the possibility of true acceptance. I have watched countless families leave the church because the non-Greek spouse felt as if they didn’t belong. I hold on to my husband’s traditions dearly, and will raise my family in the church and culture. But I ask all of you, which is more important, growing the church and continuing to spread the truth of Orthodoxy, or proving who is the most Greek?

  10. Orsula Voltis Karpathios on

    I believe this is true , in 50 years it will ths same there as it is now in the U.S.Where
    is Ausii anyway?

  11. David Clements on

    I thought the worship of God was the central focus of the church. Apparently it is the worship of culture, who knew?

  12. J. Tsikhlakis on

    To think a BISHOP – no less – saying these types of things! What school of Theology did HE go to? Just wondering…didn’t St Paul write, ‘We are neither slave nor free, Greek or Jew, but all things under Christ.’ Greek Americans have – and continue to help, Greece, as I am sure Greek Australians do, to the best of their ability. Instead of trying to divide Christ’s church, why not try uniting it? Didn’t Christ condemn his disciples arguing over ‘who is greatest?’ Isn’t this in the same league? Aren’t we suppose to be humble, help without looking for recognition or gain, our fellow Christians? Who is greatest? Greek Americans? Greek Australians? Greek Canadians? Greek South Africans? Come on, this is beyond ridiculous, and goes against every teaching of Christ. Where is ‘the good and faithful servant?” Notice: SERVANT. Not LORD & MASTER , judger of who’s greatest. Tropi sou!

    • Proud Greek Aussie on

      “as I am sure Greek Australians do, to the best of their ability” ??????

      “Aren’t we suppose to be humble, help without looking for recognition or gain”

      Oh yes… most definitely a humble expression if every I’ve heard one!

  13. Elaine Mathewes on

    Personally, I think this is one of the biggest problems with the Greek Orthodox Church. Those who are Greeks feel they own the Church, priest and everything else. The ones ” off the boat” are rude with converts (basically just “tolerate” non-Greeks) They throw them bones by putting them on their parish councils, as long as they think they can control them. The majority of Orthodox Christians in my “Greek” Orthodox church are Russians. today. I am there for the faith, which is beautiful. Look around – How much has your church really grown in the last ten years? Remember that little joke about St. Peter at the gates to Heaven welcoming them to heaven. But he cautions everyone to tip toe by the door marked “Greeks.” He says the reason is because the Greeks think they are the only ones here!”

  14. The lessening of Greek ethnicity is more apparent in the United States becuse the Greeks have been in the USA longer than they have been in Australia. Some of the Greek Americans are now
    5th and 6th generation…..sociologists will tell you that the ethnic language will be lost by the 3rd generation… many of the Greek Americans Orthodoxy preempts the Greek language…Orthodoxy spread throughout the world and the liturgy is said in Russian in Russia, Ukrainian in the Ukraine, Rumanian in Rumania…..why is there such a distaste for the litugy to be said in English? After 5 generations, do we consider ourselves a diaspora church or are we Americans ?


    I do not believe that being Greek should be treated as Competetion. I am Greek American from the NEW YORK area and you don’t get any more “Greek” than ASTORIA QUEENS. The fact that GREEK AUSTRALIANS have to justify being more Greek is meaningless. I’m 1st generation, raised in the Greek church, I go to Greece every summer, speak the language & own property in the other land. So weak, irrelevant and based on ego not fact.

  16. Tom kanelos on

    First of all, who cares. It is not the responsibility of the Church to preserve the “Greek identity”. It is the responsibility of the Church to save our souls. I will teach my kids the meaning of being a Greek American. Furthermore, go to almost any village in Greece and see the schools, churches and health care centers built during the last century with monies sent to Greece from Greek Americans living in the US.

    We should not give the comments of this bishop a second thought. His comments are ridiculous.

  17. Why is he even talking about Greek Americans rather than focusing on his church and his patrida (Australia) Ante re- tora mas fotises



  19. All I know is that the triumph of Greek team showed an amazing Greek spirit both here in Australia, Canada & Greece. I can not comment on the detail of Orthodox practice in the US, I as someone that works closely with the diaspora can only comment that the maintaining of culture is a challenge for all of us. What we should not be doing is making wide sweeping statements. Also it is a very much a sociological issue US Greeks are 6/7 generations Aussies are still at the 2/3 rd generation who knows where we will be in 6/7 generations. Maybe we can learn from the US what works & what doesn’t. What I see from the Pappas post is a community very much in touch with it cultural heritage and more Importantly very proud of it. One thing we should understand is that Greeks have never through out time been contained by borders. The Greek diaspora is unique to our cultures through all the ages, ancient to Modern times, working within the communities they populate and changing them, adding value. & not to be out done, I can put a lamb on on a spit

  20. Greg, thank you for posting this.

    The Bishops statements in my opinion do not divide us. They should serve as a reminder to wake us up bc we have all become “amerikanakia”

    My friends who have married Greek girls over here in the US barely talk to their kids, let alone to each other in Greek. We don’t talk Greek amongst each other, we abandon all of our traditions, we make fun of Greek places and avoid them only to go to a crappy “hip” American place.

    We don’t read Greek newspapers, we dont subscribe to the Greek channel. We don’t go to church, we have let YAL/REAL Greek orthodox youth associations die out. Our youth organization’s from our syllogism such as the Kritikoi, Xiotes, Kefslonited…etc are dying out

    Kala ta Lei!

    (Technically my post shud be in Greek…)

  21. Vasili Poulos on

    Absolutely true. The local Greek Orthodox Church here in Canton, Ohio does not even have a Greek priest. He is Romanian or Russian. He of course encourages inter-Faith marriages. What sort of message does that send? The Greek Church must do more to promote ethnic purity and stop the mongrelization of our people.

    • Jennifer Avros on

      Maybe they should tattoo numbers on the forearms of non Greeks to identify them if they dare attend church. Ethnic purity is a slippery slope to genocide. It is unfortunate that 80% of marriages in the church are interfaith. The attitude of ethnic purity will only cause the demise of the church when the children of these marriages leave. The parishes need to teach them and make them feel part of the community or you will lose their children. Help them celebrate and learn Greek culture! After all, their children will be paying for the churches in twenty years. Train them well!

  22. It's SAD that you would publish above text with the video, as you have mistranslated the words of our AXIOS Bishop Seraphim! He only spoke the truth. In Australia even the third Australian born generations speak Greek, attend weekly Church services and definitely know the culture and traditions.His Grace did not try to divide, just commented that the Greeks in Australia are keeping the language and traditions alive! May God Bless him for many many years!!! AXIOS!!! Eis Polla Eti Despota!

    • FYI
      “Going to church” doesn’t make someone better or worse than another person. Having a true relationship with Christ is what matters more.

      And furthermore, I was taught my greek language and traditions by my family, not by my church!

  23. Even more sad that he would speak such words… "emeis Oi Ellines tis Australias den miazoume me tous Ellines tis Amerikis." And he does on to say that "we" are better than "them" because we are better Greeks… Don't be upset that we published these words… You should be more upset that he spoke these divisive words, without knowing any of the realities of Greek Americans.

    • Proud Greek Aussie on

      Im sorry Gregory but no more than you know the realities of Greek Australians. You Americans need to get your head out of a%%#, thinking that you are better than the rest of the world!!

  24. Gregory C Pappas You are going on about the economic help, but sadly the Bishop didn't even mention this! The only thing he said is that the Greeks in Australia are keeping language and traditions more alive here. God Bless.

  25. This is a sad thing to read and unbelievable that this comment came from a Bishop of the Greek Orthodox Church. Just want to put a personal aspect on this: I am a Greek American. My parents were born in the USA, and I was born in the USA. In November, I joined my fellow chanters in the Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir for a performance in Constantinople in the Church of the Holy Peace of God (Hagia Irene). You can view the video here:

    I certainly think this is a great example of how wrong Bishop Seraphim was in his remarks. I am hurt and ashamed to be seen this way by a hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Church, but I stand proud knowing that he is wrong.

  26. Guss Tsatsakis on

    I’m pretty sick & tired of these sweeping generalities. I’m an American-born Greek (1st generation, Chicago) and have beloved family in Melbourne, Australia. Saying that one group holds tight to authentic Greek culture & religion above another is ludicrous! I can give 100 examples of my fellow Chicago-Greeks actively participating in the church, speaking the language, and being more ‘Greek’ than native-born Greeks… and I can do the same, with 1st hand knowledge about my extended family in Melbourne! To have a figure of such high esteem as this Bishop in Australia utter such words of division is disgraceful & very Un-Orthodox. At a time when Greeks of the world should be banding together in support of one another and to support the land of their heritage, this ηλιθιο is throwing down phrases of one-upmanship. For what! To impress!? For shame!

  27. Paula Koveos on

    Such passion and drama!! At the end of the day our church is about Jesus who is beyond nationality, however as we were blessed to be born in the Orthodox church our responsibility is to pass on our faith and language. Why? Because the liturgy and the New Testament were written in Greek and to remain true to the intent of meaning we really should appreciate and cultivate this. That doesn't mean you can't worship or appreciate Jesus in another language it just means we do have a responsibility to keep the original language & faith alive. Regarding culture, of course being Greek is wonderful because we know how to live life but there is no point being "Greek" if you forget God. Then it it just becomes "kaloperasi". I can't speak for the Bishop but I assume he doesn't want his flock to blend into the Australian cultural norm (which has unfortunately become secular) but to stand out in strong virtue clinging to their language and faith which binds them to the Original church. May God bless and guide all Greeks wherever they are in the world.

  28. Evangelos C Gatseos Evangeli, I would strongly urge you and all other Greeks reading these posts to read and learn some accurate history regarding the Ottoman occupation years. Firstly, the Patriarchate was a strong supporter of the Sultan's rule… the years leading up to the fall of Constantinople, the Patriarchate came out in favour of the Ottomans over the support of the ''Catholic westerners'. In fact, after 1453, the Patriarchate's rule , with the Sultan's support, was extended to encompass all Orthodox Christians under the Ottoman's rule. Therefore, all Christian Albanians, Greeks, Serbs, Bulgarians, Romanians, Arabs , Russians, Ukrainians—-all these Orthodox Christians became part of the Rum Millet—-overseen by the Patriarchate. During the 1821-1828 revolution, the Patriarchate excommunicated the leaders of the Greek freedom fighters! There was NO suppression of the Greek language or religion or schooling during the occupation. For centuries, the educated Greek speakers essentially became the civil service of the Ottoman Empire….investigate who and what the Phanariots were to the Ottomans. Greeks, Jews and Armenians ran the economy and Greeks ran the civil service. The number of active churches in Constantinople expanded after 1453. Absolutely, there were many, many instances of atrocities by the Muslim Ottomans against the Greeks and other Balkan and Anatolian Christians. The stories about secret Greek schools keeping alive Greek language and learning, however, are just myths created in the mid and late 19th century and have no basis in reality. Regards

  29. Being in touch with one’s religious affiliation has nothing to do with caring about Greece. If you would open your mind a bit and understand what it’s like to live in a society with 5th and 6th generation Greek Americans, you could use this and understand what will– because it is inevitable– happen in your society too. Branka, we are in our 6th generation in this country. 330 million Americans and about a half million active Greek Americans– if that. I’d venture to say that we’re doing quite well as a community… In the past 4 years have sent tens of millions of dollars in financial support to Greece and dozens upon dozens of institutions are thriving. One’s Greekness is no longer defined in America by their affiliation with the Greek Orthodox Church. I know many good Greeks who have no affiliation with the church.

  30. Jim Demestihas on

    how to the Greek americans fare compared to the Aussie Greeks on money given to the Greek Church?

  31. Jim Demestihas on

    He should be removed from his position….. his statements could disrupt the flow of US money to the church!

  32. Jim Demestihas on

    FYI- Im a Greek/Irish American Catholic! The Greek Orthodox and the Catholic Church exist with massive amounts of property owned and cash………… while many starve in the streets outside the Vatican and in Athens…

  33. Gail Anna Cardinal Kalish on

    I am a 3rd generation Greek American. I was brought up in the Greek Orthodox Church and to this day I am in good standing with the church. Look at my name & face, do I look Greek to you? No you say, When Greeks look at me curiously & ask me if I am Greek, I state to them, "I am half Greek, half Italian, BUT,,,, I am 100 percent Greek Orthodox. I have served as an officer of the Philoptochos, and I am a member of "The daughters of Penelope.Even though I attend church on a regular basis,I can't help but notice glares from some people in church because I don't look Greek. I bake my koulurakia ,Spanakopita ,and just about any Greek dish you could think of. I think it is the parents and grandparents must teach their children of Greek customs & culture. I would love to visit Greece,it is in my desire to go to Greece & find my 2nd & 3rd cousins and to just to be in Greece, such a beautiful country & which I refer to "My Mother Land". Greeks have to understand that it takes work from our parents, grandparents & our Churches here in American. Please,Please don't judge me by my name or my looks. Just show gratuity that our church has remained the same for thousands of years.I sometime feel like an outsider sometimes.

  34. Pol Kouroushis on

    My dear sisters and brothers in Christ. Στώμεν Καλώς. Let us stand well!
    As I read all the comments, the words of St Paul come in my mind. «Την Παρακαταθήκην φύλαξων» that is “protect your Inheritance”.

    Inheritance for me is Christ but at the same time it is my Greek culture and customs, my Greek identity. Whether I call myself Greek-Australian, Australian-Greek, just Greek or just Australian it does not change my inheritance. I see it my responsibility to protect this Inheritance «ως κόρην οφθαλμού». I see it my responsibility to pass this Inheritance to my kids just as I received it from my ancestors.

    Inheritance for someone else will certainly mean something different. For some it may mean nothing but money or houses.

    The demographics of the whole world are changing our days. Some of us like it, some of us don’t. Yes, the reality is that Greeks in America are now 7th, 8th generation. Australia is much younger. Where we are today as Greek-Australians is maybe where Greek-Americans were 4, 5 generations ago and I don’t want to criticise either. Can we learn from each other and build on the positives? There are certainly things that worked and other things that did not work.
    Rather than criticise His Grace, can you share with us some of the good things that worked for you in protecting this Inheritance and the things that didn’t work so we don’t do the same mistake. Share with us some of the things that really worked for you so we can apply them too. The aim here is to protect the Inheritance.

    I have been honoured to be part of a Greek day school here in Australia, established in 1990. It was seen as a brave decision; many were not sure at the time whether this school would be able to sustain adequate student numbers to ensure its future prosperity. With all this in mind, the school opened its gates in 1990 to 28 students, who were enrolled in kindergarten and years 1 and 2. Since then, the school has come a long way. The school today boasts 700 students ranging from kindergarten to year 12.

    The curriculum taught is both academically rich and diverse, with the Greek culture and orthodox religion given a strong emphasis, and promotes a unique Greek Australian identity.
    This is of significant importance to the students who attend the school since they are not torn between two identities and cultures, that of the school yard and that of the home. They blend in to an identity that is compatible to both, and they are proud to be both Australian and Greek, rather than having to choose to be one or the other. The students feel less alienated and more comfortable with who they are. To a young person, this is of vital importance.
    The school exemplifies the attributes of commitment, perseverance and vision within the local Greek community. Despite many doubting that the concept would succeed in the long term, it is now regarded as one of those great Australian success stories, and it is a shining example of the benefits that multiculturalism has brought to this country. There are seven Greek schools in Australia.

    Mother Teresa said “People are often unreasonable and self-centred, forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives, be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you, be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous, be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow, do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough, give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

    Thank you for reading and writing. God Bless.

  35. Nicholas Pappas on

    As an antiquated religious leader, he could easily have praised the Greek Australians without insulting American Greeks. Assimilation in the USA is the goal and those that want to continue with their cultural and religious traditions are free to do so. When a clergyman oversteps his boundary he easily loses his flock.

  36. It's very sad to hear these comments, especially from an australian bishop. You might expect to hear these judgemental comments from someone uneducated and shallow. I feel that I can safely speak for most greek americans to say that we are very proud to be greek american and thankfully are not under the leadership to degrade others, judge and compare. Countries have different histories, experiences, education, population, wars, etc. the list goes on. There maybe 600,000 greeks in australia, with over half living in melbourne. There are more than 1.4 million greeks in the u s LA -20,000 Houston- 15000 Texas and oklahoma- 50,000 Boston 60,000 Nyc- 450,000 Illinois- 455,000 Atlanta- 20,000 New Orleans- 12,000 Sanfransisco- 50,000, etc. There are over 366,000 greek americans in usa that speak greek in the home. Obviously it would be much easier to maintain a strong greek culture if most of us were in one place, it's much more challenging to achieve that with us all spread out in the united states, which gives us even more pride that we achieved that.with all the obstacles that we faced. We as a country have never forgotton our roots,,have helped our father country as much as we could financially, morally, and emotionally thruough the years, many many years.Since our forefathers have come to this great country, there have been wars, poverty, loss of jobs, etc.But we have continued to grow ,prosper, and help greece in our own ways as much as possible. Not only do our bigger cities with heavier populations proudly hold greek festivals, teach greek school, have many active orthodox churches, open greek businesses,, etc. but so do the smaller towns with only a few hundred greek families like my town in nc. Our religious leaders should continue to support greek culture with ideas, plans, and commend us on what we have achieved until now rather than judging comparing , dividing, and acting like a 4 year old saying we are better than you. It is unfortunate to have someone in a christian leadership role to set this god awful example.

  37. Evangelos C Gatseos on

    Eric Fitzios Christou To be clear. I have read real Greek history books which said exactly what you mentioned in your post. Since I identify as Greek, I made it a point to learn the truth about Turkish occupation instead of what my dad (80 years old) has said or to dispel popular myths, like the destruction of churches and suppression of Orthodoxy in Constantinople. I did not say there were secret Greek schools or recite φεγγαρακι μου λαμπρο. However, I do believe there was a determination to maintain their heritage despite the occupation. Visitors to Greece during Ottoman rule observed a strong willed but poor and uneducated people. I am sure these histories painted broad strokes of the community as a whole. I am simply a history major with an undergraduate degree, [based on U of Victoria] you might be a professor with a doctorate or masters degree and have more insight into this history and I appreciate your post. If you have books to suggest, please let me know the titles so I may better educate myself. My reasoning for saying there was determination to maintain their culture and language is because they could have just as simply, over the coarse of the occupation, become Ottoman. As you know, some Greeks converted to keep land or wealth or curry favor with their rulers. Others could have done the same thing if their life would have improved as a result; but, they opted to maintain their language and culture. Thank you again for your response. I will definitely continue to read and learn more about Greek history so I do not perpetuate myths regarding the history.

  38. Interesting, that a so called Orthodox Christian Bishop brags about something that has absolutely no value in the Kingdom of God.

  39. We will probably be better served as Greeks in general if we try positive influence on people. If the Aussie Greeks were doing something different and better to keep the Greek culture and their identity alive, then it would be nice to hear about it and see if we can use it here. If on the other hand, the Bishop’s comments are rooted on his personal insecurities, I think the Church needs to take a closer look at him. We may have a polarizing figure in an influential position, and this may not be the last we hear from him. What is his point, that we are not good enough Greeks? Someone who is truly better at something has no need to proclaim it, others will point it out. Is the Bishop interested in finding out the challenges of the Greek-Americans and offer help, or is he just interested in trash-talk?

    • The bishop’s task is to cultivate and nurture faith in Christ not to promote cultural identity. His goal should be to make Australians Orthodox not introduce them to baklava, Kalamata olives, feta cheese and the the Greek language..

  40. Hmm I know what you mean! Even our cathedral here in NY has the Liturgy in Greek but the sermon in English. There aren’t many Greek speakers left in Manhattan anymore, and most of the Greeks I met there are third and fourth generation.
    Have you ever tried to meet with any local church leaders to inform of your concerns? There may be a way to keep the festivals with their revenue and do something more to preserve the Greek culture.
    I have seen other nationalities’ churches offer bilingual services using a free teleconference bridge. The translator is a volunteer bilingual person who translates the sermon in English. The English speakers dial in to the conference bridge and listen in. This helps the newer generation learn the language of their forefathers and also understand the sermon. My local Church here, St. Barbara, offers service in Greek.

  41. Evangelos C Gatseos Hi again Evangeli. I feel I must apologize for assuming that you had only a cursory knowledge of the Tourkokratia period; you obviously have a good understanding of the era. I approached the subject somewhat obliquely via social anthropolgy, as I was more interested in studying the formation of the modern Greek state as it incorporated various linguistic groups (Aroumanian, Albanian, slavonic speakers— all Orthodox) into a Greek identity. My readings came to include a fair exposure to Ottoman era history and politics. Anyway, you might find the following books of interest: "Tormented by History: Nationalism in Greece and Turkey" by Spyros SOFOS and Umut OZKIRMLI ISBN 978 1850658993 "Blood Ties: Religion, Violence and the Politics of Nationhood in Ottoman Macedonia, 1878-1908 by Ipek YOSMAOGLU A good intro. book on the period is "National Histories, Natural States: Nationalism and the Politics of Place in Greece" by Robert Shannan PECKHAM ISBN 9781560646416. Regards Eric (Heraklis) Christou

  42. Christian Youssef on

    …27For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
    Galations 3:28

    Greeks are cool and all, but the fact that often times they confuse Christianity Greek Culture is appalling. Its a form of ethnocentricity that I'm quite sure God Himself can't stand.

  43. We must understand that for many ethnocentric individuals the Word of God has not authoritative value. For them it is not different from the Iliad, the New York Times of the Greek Herald;just literature. Apparently, this bishop is either unfamiliar with the Word of God or just does not care. Save thy people o Lord!

  44. Evangelos C Gatseos on

    Eric Fitzios Christou Thanks for the books! I will check out Tormented by History first. Nations and Nationalism by Gellner was very good and I have always been interested in what a national identity looks like for different areas. This seems to circle us back to the original thought, that the identity of Greeks in America is becoming more American than Greek. I remember dwelling on this exact thought about the American (United States) national identity. The hyphen in self identification; Greek-American, Italian-American, etc. I felt it caused division among different cultures. This, seemingly by design, creates an "us vs. them" mentality which prevents any collective consciousness of "the people" as a whole. Therein lies the paradox, can people maintain their individual culture and heritage while also being open to the fact, their interests line up with the interest of people with a different hyphen in their self identification? As a social anthropologist, I am sure questions about why divisions exist between people, why wars are fought, etc. In case I came off harshly, I apologize. I merely wanted to let you know I wasn't just reciting camp fire stories about the Turks. 🙂 Thank you for the stimulating dialogue. It was nice to talk about something other than the usual scuttlebutt.

  45. We must understand that for many ethnocentric individuals the Word of God has no authoritative value. For them it is not different from the Iliad, the New York Times of the Greek Herald;just literature. Apparently, this bishop is either unfamiliar with the Word of God or just does not care. Save thy people o Lord!

  46. I feel that our Australian Bishop has much to learn from our Christian faith and the grass roots elements. Had it been a private joke at his counterpart is one thing, but to say it publicly is a gross error of judgement on his part.

    I am of the belief that our Aussie Bishop has forgotten what “the word ‘HUMILITY’ is all about.

    His comments have not strengthened any bonds between our American Hellenic brothers and I can only assume that his-comments were designed to create an environment of elitism amongst the clergy.

    I am personally disappointed that these comments set a poor example to others and he should apologise if they are taken the wrong way. I for one am not a happy bloke.

    I expect our clergy to set the highest examples so tat we can only try to emulate.

  47. James Dimitri Karas on

    Greek is a Nationality And Orthodoxy is a religion. You folks need to separate the two and I think Jesus would tell you the same thing. We are Orthodox Christians period.

    • Yes, Jesus does separate when he said “You cant serve 2 masters because you will love one and hate the other”. Jesus is the Lord and Master of the Church. It is His Church and by the way he was a Jew.

  48. James Dimitri Karas on

    Greek is a Nationality And Orthodoxy is a religion. You folks need to separate the two and I think Jesus would tell you the same thing. We are Orthodox Christians period.

  49. James Dimitri Karas on

    Greek is a Nationality And Orthodoxy is a religion. You folks need to separate the two and I think Jesus would tell you the same thing. We are Orthodox Christians period.

  50. James Dimitri Karas on

    Greek is a Nationality And Orthodoxy is a religion. You folks need to separate the two and I think Jesus would tell you the same thing. We are Orthodox Christians period.

  51. James Dimitri Karas Who is "we folks"? 🙂
    The church is called Greek Orthodox and while religion-wise Orthodox is somewhat the same, with the diaspora the Church does play a role of assisting with Greek networking. Its a slippery slope to try to identify what "Jesus would say" or would do. There are over 33,000 Christian denominations out there and they all claim to know what Jesus would say.
    In any case, much like the Greek Orthodox there are other Orthodox Churches identifying with a nationality like Latvian Orthodox, Russian Orthodox etc. Nothing unique with the Greek church in that respect. I'm not arguing what it should be or should be called, simply stating what it is.

    • No argument about what what Jesus would say, read the scriptures:”You cant serve 2 masters because you will love one and hate the other”.

  52. Is that a problem, Spero? Is the Greek ORthodox Church merely an extension of Hellenism? When we are standing before Christ's dreaded judgement seat do you think he'll ask if you were a good Ahepan or if I was a good Cretan?

  53. James Dimitri Karas on

    Harold Migias I understand where you are coming from….. My brother and I got into a major discussion about this. Even though Jesus was a Jew and we were considered Gentiles at the time he asked me what the language was at that time and I stated it was Greek. in turn we were Greek and the language was Greek so were Greek Orthodox Christians. I Love my Greek heritage also but I live in America and the language here is English and am so glad Father John Hondros does the liturgy in both in Greek and English which helps those who do no speak Greek…. At the rate everything is going, nationwide we are burying more parishioners then we are Baptizing and most of all we need to bring more people into the church. This is also the same for the Russian (OCA,), Serbian, Armenian, Antiokian, and other Orthodox Churches.

  54. You and I are on the same page. At Christ's judgment seat I doubt if he'll ask me if I was a good Cretan. We need to take every opportunity to reach out to our communities and to share the Good News of Christ and the fullness of that Faith expressed in Christian Orthodoxy.

  55. Kathryn Patitsas on

    His comments are hardly disparaging. I am a Greek American and I do not take offense. Let's not over react. This is not a political setting. He is not running for office. He has no jurisdiction in the USA. Both the States and Australia have their strengths. Let's not pretend they are required or destined to be identical. If you find it a challenge, then rise to it, otherwise, let it be. Obviously it is not meant for you.

  56. The Orthodox Church is one…The liturgy in a Greek, Romanian, Russian or American Orthodox church is the same. Our doctrine, Creed and Fathers are all the same. The execution and local trends may vary, but it is still the same Church. Do we Greeks not recognize a Russian saint? We do, even though we may not celebrate him/her. Ethnicity, is all too often blurred in with religion. It shouldn't be. We Greeks not proud of our ancestry, right? Yet we do not believe in the 12 gods, now do we? Leaving the Orthodox faith (as a suggestion anyway) because a bishop has a misguided and dare i say tribal view is not the answer. Tolerance and seeking the truth is indeed more demanding but so much more rewarding….

  57. Yes, some degree of Greek ethnicity is often the social glue in our Church. However, we are first and foremost
    Orthodox Christians. The Church’s mission is to cultivate and promote the Orthodox faith. It is not the Church’s job to make little Greeks out of us. Greek language, the hasapiko, and spanakopita do not produce more devout Orthodox Christians. Think of how much stronger our Church would be as a Religious force if we didn’t waste so many resources on Greek education. Those bishops and clergy who so strongly advocate “Greekness”
    are serving two Gods: Christ and Greek ethnicity. Consequently, they are doing a poor job in both cases.
    You can only serve one God! With accelerated intermarriage and inevitable acculturation in the United States and Australia, attaching our existence and future to Greek identity is painfully shortsighted and incredibly ignorant. Yes, Greek culture definitely can be our social glue, but it must never be over done and definitely must not be our reason for existence as a church.

  58. If, as the statistics indicate, you Greek Americans (and possibly increasingly Greek Australians, etc.) don’t want to learn or to keep speaking Greek, don’t teach your children Greek, don’t follow Greek traditions, customs etc, don’t have a real connection to Greece and to Greek culture etc, if you and your offspring assimilate gladly, then please stop calling yourselfs Greek Americans and stick to Americans.

    The hyphen-Americanness thingy of any or at least most kinds is anyway a joke -an offending one for that matter- cause predominantly there is no connection whatsoever to the motherland, especially after a generation or two; it’s only an internal thing of American group dynamics being mostly irrelevant to the whichever motherland of origin.
    Eating phasolada or chorta once in a while does not a Greek make; nor does ordering gyros or souvlakia instead of burgers.

    If you’re Orthodox Christians above being Greeks feel free to identity by that group identity and not by Greekness. If you pledge allegiance not to the Greek flag but to the American one or to any other, or to the latter above the former, then you’re not a Greek; you just have Greek ancestry (if any).
    As a Greek I couldn’t care less about you remaining orthodox christians -which you anyway predominantly don’t because of interfaith marriages etc- or not. There are enough orthodox christians around the world, if one cares about orthodox christianity; Greeks on the other hand, the real ones, are few and are becoming fewer by the minute.

    Despite being a non believer, and that’s an understatement, I’m glad and grateful to the Greek orthodox chruch about its efforts abroad to have people of Greek ancestry retain their Greek culture and identity (real one). But other than that, if you want to strip the Greek from the Greek orthodox then strip it fully and don’t offend us with your silly hyphenated pseudo-Greekness.

    Greek muslims and catholics and …. of Greece are infinitely more Greek than you. Greek muslims and Greek catholics et alii of Greece, just like Greek orthodox christians serve in the Greek military and will fight for Greece in case of a war when you’ll be living your life abroad. Greeks of Greece of all religions and of no religion suffer when Greece suffers; you don’t, you won’t, your children and grandchildren won’t.
    They are my Greek brothers, they are true members of the Greek nation which has existed long before christianity and hopefully long after; you’re not.

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