A Two-Horned Monster
Atila S. Guimarães - March 31, 2001
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I don't know how the Vatican is going to paint this picture, but the reality is very clear: ecumenism with the Greek Schismatics is a complete failure. It is known that the "hard core" Schismatics are the Greeks, and among them, the center of radicalism is the Abbey of Mount Athos. One sore point for John Paul II is never to have received their permission to visit Greece, since the Schismatics have not considered his presence desirable on their peninsula.
Now, at the sunset of his pontificate, the trip is being sought for John Paul II as a kind of consolation prize. Someone is pushing hard for the trip to take place. Ceding to this pressure, the religious authorities seem to be preparing a "Phyrric victory" for the Pope. In fact, it was actually released that he will be very poorly received.
Here is the notice from the Los Angeles Times (March 8, 2001):
Greek monks protest the Pope's visit
"Greek Orthodox leaders paved the way for a visit by Pope John Paul II with a decision that could help mend centuries of friction between the two Christian branches. Despite its approval, the Holy Synod acknowledges opposition and said any papal trip must be only a pilgrimage to biblical sites. The conservative clerical union predicted massive protests describing John Paul II as 'the two-horned grotesque monster of Rome.'"
It is curious that the Greek monks suddenly seem to have received the gift of prophecy, enabling them to foresee the future action of the multitudes during the Pope's visit. Or another less sublime hypothesis: they themselves are inciting the population against the Pope. The practical conclusion: with or without the trip, ecumenism has failed completely with the Greek Schismatics.
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