Shifting the Centre of Gravity of Greek Orthodox EU Policies: A Matter of Leadership?

Georgios Trantas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Concerning the attitude of the Orthodox Church of Greece (hereafter GOC)
towards the EU since 1998, one ought to distinguish two different periods on the
basis of fundamentally dissimilar strategic, essentially political, approaches. The
eras of Archbishops Christodoulos and Hieronymos II diverged markedly,
considering the differences in personality but also of the tasks at hand, as those
were co-dictated by the circumstances of the time. As regards Christodoulos, it
has been well established that interventionism in extra-ecclesiastical,
predominantly political affairs was part of his agenda and polity.1 This was
variably supported by the Holy Synod of the GOC, at times reluctantly or
otherwise wholeheartedly. In fact it would not be out of order to maintain that
this attitude exceeded national boundaries; particularly as regards the intra-
European fermentations in dealing with the formulation of an EU Constitutional
Treaty under construction and all that it ought to articulate, what its group-personhood – if any – stands for, what it represents and what its essence is,
including its religiocultural identity. It is in fact worth mentioning a few examples along those lines, by focusing on the relationship of the GOC with the European Union and its institutions, in order to better capture the context and broader political conditions of the time. If anything, they are indicative of an attitude, ultimately an agenda that took shape in practice. However, it is pertinent to also take into account the relationship of the modern Greek state with the EU, in order to better appreciate the political context and culture within which the GOC operates.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCoping with Change
Subtitle of host publication Orthodox Christian Dynamics between Tradition, Innovation,and Realpolitik
EditorsVasilios N. Makrides, Sebastian Rimestad
PublisherPeter Lang
Pages127 - 146
ISBN (Print)978-3-631-67146
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2020


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