Let’s make faith a feast and joy- Christos Giannaras’ speech in Paxoi
On Sunday evening, September 9, 2018 the Holy Metropolis of Corfu, Paxoi and Diapontian Islands ans the Municipality of Paxoi co-organised a successful event with main speaker, Mr.Christos Giannaras, emeritus professor of the Panteion University, at the hall of the Municipal Council.
As the General Prelatic Warden of the Holy Metropolis of Corfu, Protopresbyter father Themistoklis Mourtzanos underlined, while representing his Eminence, the Bishop Mr. Nektarios, the event is the starting line of other events, where the local Church will try to discuss and provoke questions to a series of problems such as the relationship between parents and children and couples, the social testimony of the Church, issues of history and identity of the Greek nation and the liturgical tradition.
Referring to Mr. Giannaras, the mayor of the municipality of Paxoi, Mr. Spyros Vlachopoulos expressed his joy and enthusiasm for this event, while stressing that for the locals, Mr. Giannaras’ presence is an opportunity for today and orientation for tomorrow.
Mr. Giannaras talked about: “Is democracy a recipe or achievement?” Having made a reference to the ancient city, whose reason for creation was the functional use of co-existing, pointed out that democracy was not a political right but as a meeting of humans who considered their participation in the truth as the meaning of their life.
As citizens, they thought it was their honor to fight with the existential questions of humans, life and death, to be members of the city and to defend it, to converse on its matters, to vote and to be opinionated.
Democracy respected the human body, it did not view it as useful and functional. Torturing was forbidden and there was no executioner (Socrates drunk on his own the conium) and that’s why the main punishments were ostracisme or deprivation of citizenship.
For Greeks, democracy was an achievement and was based on the participation in religiosity, common language, sense of origin, tradition, feasts. Citizens had identity, thought and acted as a community.
In our times, democracy has become a recipe. Influence by the west civilization, for which everything works in the consuming perspective, we have lost the sense that we, too, are responsible for the truth and we have left everything to the state, under the form of conventions, social contract, rights and legal rules.
Therefore, we do not care for what is real, or how we are invited to participate in the reality of life but we built walls behind what we deserve and we have allowed a growing of a state responsible for everything, with an only self-centered spirit that does not allow us to share.
The speaker suggested to reconsider our collective action, through communities and parishes as a starting line of awakening and pointed out our personal responsibility to make democracy an achievement.
The key here is the presence of the Church, which is invited to inspire humans to feel the joy of the feast and not the misery of fulfillment of our religious duties.
A very interesting dialogue followed, with questions posed by the the audience.