Statement by the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece

1. The Church of Greece has been supporting our Cypriot brothers since the issue of their liberation was raised. This support never assumed a political dimension because for all Greeks worldwide the issue of Cyprus is not political but national. At a time when legal principles, international institutions, and the credibility of their decisions, are on trial, our mind recollects with respect and awe the sacrifices of and the decades of struggle by Cypriot Hellenism.

2. The Church of Greece notes with satisfaction that Cyprus has been invited to join the European Union as it appears. We expect that the political leadership of the EU will confirm this decision in the upcoming Copenhagen conference, and in so doing will uphold the very European tradition, which created the concept of International Law in order to contain the arrogance of the powerful.

3. The Church of Greece also notes with satisfaction the decision of the Secretary General of the United Nations to assume the initiative for a resolution of the Cyprus issue. The Church ascertains, however, that the plan proposed is not guided by the juridical ideas governing a united Europe, which the Republic of Cyprus has been invited to join, and in which it will develop. On the contrary, this plan suggests the possibility of long-term trials and conflict, despite references to the conjuncture of circumstances and political balances. Given these, the Church cannot laud the plan of the Secretary General of the United Nations for it deems that it is not one that will yield a genuine resolution of the Cyprus issue.

4. It is true that the conjuncture of circumstances and pressures borne of reality generate force. Logic and conscience demand resistance however. The middle ground, that of measure, not retreat, obliges a generation responsible for a slew of errors, in other words all of us, to consider what tomorrow will be like for the youth of Cyprus, and to offer it hope, the prospect of peaceful coexistence, dignity and progress.

5. The Church of Greece prays for the Divine Enlightenment of the leadership of our country, and while honoring the entire political realm, supplicates Our Lord on its behalf. The Church, recognizing its role is not one to give directions to the political leadership. It does have the duty, however, to bear witness as to whether "it relates to the suffering and struggle in the country," or "it relates to salvation," as was just done by the Most Holy Church of Cyprus. For the Church is obliged to provide succor to a suffering people as much as it does to the suffering of the individual person. The being understood in good faith, the Church calls on the political leadership of Hellenism to remain steady and unswerving with regard to values and principles that have been preserved by the Greek people over centuries, and which provide the foundation for its survival. Proposals and plans may provide the basis for negotiation. The value Hellenism has held most dear during its long h! istorical course, however, is freedom. The struggle on its behalf is not negotiable, despites circumstances, conditions and proposals.

6. The Church of Greece shall pray for justice to prevail on all sides and promises to support the good intentions, from whatever direction these may come, so that the expectations of the Cypriots are fulfilled.

From the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece

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