MESSAGE OF HIS EMINENCE, THE BISHOP OF CORFU, PAXOI AND DIAPONTIAN ISLANDS MR.NEKTARIOS FOR THE BEGINNING OF CATECHETICAL SCHOOLS OF THE MISSIONARY YEAR 2017-2018
My dear fathers and brothers, my dear parents, catechists and children!
Our Church invites every single one of you to fight for catechism which stems from the belief that the Holy Gospel holds an important place in our lives.
It is very important nowadays to know the principles and merits of the Gospel, given by our Lord and His Disciples and the way that the Gospel was was lived and taught by the Church and the Saints.We don’t really know where to go. Our culture through the promoted lifestyle, makes us believe that the happiest person is the one who is the most famous. It is said that happy is the one who finds life and other people as he wants them. The one who can enjoy everything without taking any responsibility.
While such notions are supported everywhere and claim to be infallible, we see that no prosperity can be acquired without meaning and purpose of life, without God’s support, without the hope that faith offers us in our daily life.
All the aforementioned we try to achieve through catechism, the re-use of the Holy Gospel in our daily life, especially for the young people. To live with Christ and the way that He asks us to deal with the smallest and greatest difficulties of our lives.
The important question is not what we have to do and what we do not, but in whom and what we believe, because when our faith is powerful and conscious, we will be able to fight.
This goal is attainable through our catechetical meetings of our parishes both for younger and older people.
Nowadays another problem has arised: the Religious lesson in schools is no longer able to provide the students with the connection between Orthodox faith and tradition and has become a strange alliance of other religions, where faith in Christ is unfortunately claimed to be the same with other beliefs. The confusion begins even in the third year of primary School. That is why we should not expect a genuine and responsible relation with Faith from anywhere else.
The Family and the Church are the last shelters in order for our children and young people to become consciously Orthodox Christians.
So today, the new catechetical year begins. We are glad and we give our blessings to our fathers along with the catechists and the children of all ages who will participate in the catechetical meetings. We ask once again the parents to trust the Church while thanking them in advance.
Hope you will have a good catechetical and missionary year!
With paternal greetings and love in Christ,
OF CORFU, PAXOI AND DIAPONTIAN ISLANDS
ATHEISM AND FAITH AS SUBJECT OF THIS YEAR’S MEETINGS OF STUDENTS AND SCIENTISTS CYCLE OF COMMUNICATION AND CONVERSATION OF THE HOLY METROPOLIS OF CORFU
On the evening of Thursday, September 28 2017, the meetings of Students and Scientists Society, organised fot the fifteenth consecutive year by the Holy Metropolis of Corfu began at the Spiritual Centre (Akadimias 2).After the sanctification, the responsible Archpriest Themistoklis Mourtanos presented the main topic that will be discussed in the Winter Semester:”Atheism and Faith:starting from ancient Greece to christianity”. There are two main sources for these discussions:
The philosophy of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus and the “Areopagitic Texts”, a work of the 5th century. The first seven meetings will be dedicated to Epicurus, starting with his “Letter to Menoikeus”.
Epicurus was a philosopher of a time that has many common features with modern post-modernism. He lived from 341 to 270 BC. He had preceded the era of Greek Enlightment (Sophists, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle) and after the globalisation of Alexander the Great, the “individualism” of the Hellenistic era takes place. The main question to which Epicurus answers, is “how will I live happily as an individual?”.
There is no collective thought since the city-state is in decline and people are not really interested in politics. Epicurus comes to give a testimony of philosophy that seeks to answer the question of “felicity”.
Key to this question is the “wisdom” as an individual characteristic.
In the first meeting, it was emphasised the philosopher’s view that philosophy is not only for the elderly but also for the young ones. The yound person who philosophises, is not disappointed by what is going to happen. Moreover, philosophy helps people.
Epicurus is a nihilist. Therefore, he does not believe in the after death life and rejects the compassion of religion. In spite of the aforementioned fact, he is not an atheist. He basically believes in monotheism but he does not identifies God through religious systems and superstitions, but he leaves Him completely in his tranquility.
“The future is not entirely ours, but not entirely not ours”. According to Epicurus,in order to live it, we have to fing the pleasures originating from the desires that contribute to body’s health and soul’s peace. Therefore, desires are not completely beneficial while there are some which have to be avoided because the pleasures of the future must go through the pain and deprivation.
Epicurus’ notions were criticised and the following were emphasised:
A) For Christians, death is a passage, Easter, experiencing the communication with God and hope of resurrection, not nullification of existence.
B) God did not create us because of His own lacking, neither because He needed to spend His time with us, nor because He wants to punish us. He created us because of pure love. God thinks for
Us, before us without messing with our freedom.
C) Not all pleasures are rejectable. The spiritual pleasure of communication with God puts aside everything else. The human pleasures should be enjoyed with moderation. Happy life goes beyond daily moments. Our culture is based on enjoying the moments, but our faith talks abot the duration that is attainable through love.
D) Faith in God defeats every fear, because it is the path to perfect love!
The meetings continue on Thursday, October 5th, 2017 at 9.15 p.m. with another topic from Epicurus.