Thursday, September 2, 2021

Mikis Theodorakis on Hellenism, Orthodoxy and Modern Progressivism

On 30 March 2007 Mikis Theodorakis, who passed away today at the age of 96, presented in the Cathedral of Athens the musical composition of the Funeral Service of Saint John of Damascus.

In the press conference held the day before, Mikis Theodorakis had referred to Orthodoxy and his own faith, while he had also sharply criticized those who nowadays identify themselves as progressive by devaluing our history and our origins.

"I was a resistance fighter, a communist and at the same time a Christian, a man who believed in Orthodoxy," he had said characteristically.

Mikis Theodorakis, however, had also referred to current issues:

"We are done with Kolokotronis, Karaiskakis, Rigas Feraios, Arkadi, Messolonghi, with the symbols. They are disturbed by March 25th. But why? Because our liberators were the fustanella wearers, whom they accuse of being illiterate. But it is they who liberated us. 'It is a myth', they say, about Palaion Patron Germanos. They claim that Kolokotronis did not hold the Greek flag with one hand and the Cross with the other, and the Church did not bless the flag. They react against these things. 'Our children must not know about them.' Even Velouchiotis lined up the fighters and entered the villages with the Greek flag, and after talking to them about the struggle, he invited them all to enter the church. And in front of all the villagers and the guerrillas, he begged the priest to bless their flag and their struggle. These were revolutionaries. Who are these people today who say they are progressive? What relationship do they have with all this? I am here consciously. This was the normal course of Greece. That's how it had to be done. Hellenism continues. Only with the renewal of memory and faith can we become something. We must have foundations and roots, be proud of this amazing marriage of the essence of Greekness with the essence of Christianity. But not all of them know what Orthodoxy means. They say there was no Secret School. Inside the churches, however, the priests read the Gospels, which were written in Greek."

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.