November 20, 2013
In his Eminence's pastoral letter for OXI day, he had much to say about the Christian obligation to confront and resist evil, in this case the evil of Nazi Germany. He opens with my favorite verse in the Bible, Micah 6:8 - "What does the LORD seek from you, but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" Here are some excerpts from the letter:
We remember our valiant forebearers for their stand against the forces of tyranny in 1940. For the people of Greece, their love of freedom after centuries of occupation helped them to recognize the heinous nature of the expansion of the Axis powers and to support heroically the "NO" given in reply by the prime minister when asked to surrender. In the midst of overwhelming threats of violence and destruction, they also relied on their faith in God and on their affirmation of all that is just and true. The response of the Greeks to the Fascist and Axis forces and the resistance to [their] occupation was just, for it was a firm and bold recognition of evil. They knew that ultimately this was a confrontation with powers that sought to strip people of their freedom, their dignity, and even their lives. This just cause was also motivated by a love of family, of sacred and ancestral lands, and of the blessings of freedom.Note the contrast between Archbishop Demetrios and Archbishop Rowan Williams.