of the INSTITUTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF MORAL & SPIRITUAL VALUES
For the great work «THE CITY HAS FALLEN!»
by Νikolaos Anast. Klentos *
(ΕΠΙΜΕΤΡΟΝ–ΠΑΡΑΡΤΗΜΑ «Τάξις και Ακολουθία του Εθνικού Μνημοσύνου της 29ης Μαΐου. Θρήνοι και Τραγούδια της Αλώσεως» ΝΙΚ. Α. ΚΛΕΝΤΟΥ ΕΚΔΟΣΕΙΣ ΙΠΗΠΑ)
WHAT LAMENTATION, TRIBUTE AND WEEPING
CAN WE EXPRESS
FOR THE COUNTLESS ‘FALLS’
OF THE CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES
OF THE FALL OF THE QUEEN OF CITIES
ON 29TH MAY, 1453?
UNFORTUNATELY, THE SAYING IS TRUE:
“AFTER ONE BAD DEED, THOUSANDS MORE FOLLOW”
A CONCISE APPENDAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER
“Happy is the man who has gained knowledge through inquiry”
(Attributed by some to the historian Polybios and by others to the tragedian Euripides)
This can be rendered as:
Those who know the history of where they come from,
their people and destination are truly blessed.
A point of clarification: The names and titles of authors appear with their texts. Anything that appears anonymously is the collective work of the publisher and his co-workers.
Constantine Palaiologos, the last faithful and brave Emperor who was a great fighter, tried in vain to convince the rich of his day and the clergy to give their gold and jewellery in order to buy weapons and hire other mercenaries!
The Fall of Constantinople was inevitable, unfortunately, as everyone – the rulers and the ruled, clergy and laity – had gone astray. So it was that the Byzantine Empire disintegrated.
The folk saying-song was thus heard in mournful tones:
Let the Cherubic hymn cease and lower the holy gifts
let the priests take the sacred vessels, let the candles go out
for it was the will of God that the City would fall to the Turk …
The Fall of the City was a blight not only against Hellenism, but humanity as a whole. This can be deduced from a concise analysis of the main events.
We ask the dear readers to show understanding and patience so that we may expand upon the immense contribution of two great visionaries, namely Saul of Tarsus and Constantine the Great, both of whom were well-intentioned and chosen vessels for the establishment of Christianity as pure Orthodoxy.
A) FOURTEEN CENTURIES SEPARATED THE ARRIVAL OF CHRISTIANITY FROM THE FATEFUL DAY OF THE FALL OF THE QUEEN OF CITIES
1. Constantine the Great was, just like the Apostle Paul, the first after the One, but also a terrible persecutor of Christians from his earliest years. As a youth, the Apostle Paul held the clothing of the strongest men and supplied them with rocks in order to stone the early martyrs, among whom of course was the Protomartyr Stefanos. As with other Jews, he too was raised according to the ideology that to do so was to offer the greatest glory to God: “Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God” (John 16:2).
2. The compassionate Lord applied his own teaching: “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). This is what was received by unadulterated Orthodoxy, and this it preached in word, affirmed in miracles, and sealed with blood. All other religious systems around the world – even some Christian denominations – imposed themselves by force. Therefore, whatever the emperor, king, cardinal, district leader or feudal lord imposed, this is what their subjects and servants had to believe. Their owners had the right to sell them, exploit them and torment them – even to murder them, just as the cattle farmer today has the right to sell and slaughter animals. Slaves were nothing more than objects!
3. The Apostle Paul was very dynamic on the one hand, but he was a person of good intentions on the other, and he saw the vision of Christ.
4. In like manner, Constantine the Great immediately changed from being a harsh persecutor of Christians and, like Saul who was later named Paul, he was transformed into an Apostle of the Nations. Paul went through every kind of hardship to protect, enlighten and liberate Christians, not only physically but above all spiritually, from the bonds of the adversary who is the Devil. He exclaimed:
“I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish” (Romans 1:14)
“Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I am not indignant?” (2 Corinthians 11:29)
When Constantine the Great was near the Milvian Bridge close to Rome and saw the Holy Cross in the sky with the words Εν Τούτω Νίκα in Greek (‘In this sign conquer’), he not only stopped persecuting Christians but even adopted those words and defeated Maxentius in the battle that took place on the bridge!
5. On 13th June 313 AD, he issued the Edict of Milan, which allowed religious freedom. Thus he gradually stopped the persecution of Christians. And in the meantime, he gave other commands in favour of the Christians.
6. According to the respected historian Constantine Paparrigopoulos, the Christians who were martyred by the Roman rulers in the first 300 years before the Edict of Milan numbered more than 11 million. St Nicodemos the Athonite held the same view. Many of these Christians were persecuted at the beginning of the reign of Constantine the Great as well. Yet, he was a visionary, and all visionaries can do miraculous things with the help of God!
7. With God’s help, the forward-thinking Constantine moved the capital of the Empire from the West to the city of Byzantium, which became the New Rome and the Queen of Cities. This was now the centre of the Eastern Empire, the very foundation of the Byzantine Empire which lasted more than 1100 years!
8. He could foresee the dangers of infighting due to heresies, and for this reason he called the First Ecumenical Council of 318 Fathers in the city of Nicaea in the year 325 AD. This defined the faith of every Orthodox Christian with clarity.
Later, he was influenced by the Arians, exiling Athanasios the Great, Patriarch of Alexandria and victimizing some who believed correctly. Yet, he lived ascetically, like a monk. Just as his mother, St Helen Equal to the Apostles, who searched and found the Holy Tomb of Christ and the Holy Cross in 326 AD.
9. Constantine the Great was baptized shortly before his death. According to Orthodox doctrine, the human person is renewed, and all previous sins are forgiven, through conscientious participation in Baptism. The Church correctly proclaimed him a Saint Equal to the Apostles. The criticisms offered by many historians (mainly from the West, do not hold true. Marxist, pseudo-intellectual, unhistorical ‘historians’ with Masonic or Zionist leanings) try to tarnish Christianity by labelling the Emperor Constantine and other faithful Christians as common criminals and persecutors of the idolaters and heretics!
Let us not forget the power of forgiveness for every person who sincerely repents. As the thief on the Cross confessed: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” to which the Lord Himself replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:40-43).
10. Unfortunately, however, not all his successors followed the Christian faith. They became embroiled in heresies which even weakened the Byzantine Empire itself, and foreign nations took advantage of this – Persians, Arabs, Scythians, Mongols and others.
A LACONIC OVERVIEW OF SEVERAL OF THE COUNTLESS ‘FALLS’
FROM THE FATEFUL FALL OF 1453 UNTIL TODAY
1. On 29th May 1453, the most frightful event for Greece and the world – the Fall of Constantinople – had unfortunately arrived. It was then that the cry “The City Has Fallen” was heard (on account of our sins), to the detriment mainly of the peoples of the East!
2. It is impossible to describe what was suffered during approximately 600 years of unbearable and unspeakable Ottoman-Turkish slavery. We cannot even enumerate them in an Addendum!
3. Unfortunately the majority of the Byzantines who managed to escape to the West were ‘brainwashed’ to accept the deplorable enlightenment amidst the mixture of Papism, Protestantism and other belief systems, and so they lost their most precious possession, which was their Orthodoxy.
4. Those who remained underwent all kinds of suffering, not only at the hand of the Turks, but also from the Janissaries, having been overcome by the fear of spiritual, material and moral slavery!
5. The All-good, Life-giving and loving God brought forth holy people and New Martyrs during the years of slavery. These brave men and women of Christ received the grace from God to support our ancestors and nourish them with our pure Orthodox Faith.
6. Had there not been a cloud of New Martyrs (among whom is the Patron of our Foundation, St Pavlos of Aroania near Kalavryta, who is also the Protector of Tripoli), the strength of the Greeks would have waned under the unbearable Moslem yoke of the Turks. Without them, we would have worn the Ottoman fesi and turned into Janissaries of the modern day Sultan, the schizophrenic and provocative Erdogan, who shares our blood but who carries on like the Head Janissary. We would not have had a trace of Orthodoxy or Hellenic consciousness, but would have instead started to shout out like Erdogan: “Is there any Greek left in the world so that we can kill him too…?”
7. With this opportunity, we would not wish to overlook the indescribable hardships and strong resistance of the great humanitarian Hadji Halil Efendi.
On 8-3-1821 Sultan Mahmut II convened a Council attended by his adviser Halet Efendi, former ambassador of the Sublime Porte in Paris, the Grand Vezyr, the Head of the Janissaries, together with the Seichoul of Islam, Hadji Halil Efendi, who was the third most senior person in the hierarchy responsible to sign death sentences (fetfas or fatoua) as the expert on the legal stipulations of the Koran. After the Sultan and Vezyr, he was the next most powerful man of the Ottoman Empire!
Mahmut II sought to take hostage senior Orthodox Clergy and to slaughter all the Greeks. Hadji Halil Efendi opposed this, on the grounds that there should be a distinction between the innocent and those who were responsible. The Vezyr accepted this in order to save time. Throughout multiple meetings Hadji Halil Efendi struggled to maintain his clear conscience, based on his good nature, plus his belief in justice, his altruism and unparalleled humanism. He investigated any possible relationship between the Patriarch St Gregory V and the movement of Ypsilantis, and no guilt was found!
However, following the devilish slander of Halet who was supported by the Janissaries, the Sultan signed and issued an edict on 28th March 1821 for the dismissal and demotion of Hadji Halil. He was ordered to home confinement but was soon exiled to Proussa, together with his wife Hatje Ziba. There, the executioners drowned his wife and exposed her naked body. Hadji Halil Efendi was so traumatized by the torments of the executioners that he died from a stroke.
Through the sacrifice and martyrdom of Hadji Halil Efendi, the senior clergy and all the Greeks were not wiped out, except for 10,000 who hailed from the Peloponnese.
Otherwise, we would not be here. Or, if we survived, we would have lost every trace of our national and Orthodox identity.
8. We wrote about all this, and much more, to the mayors throughout Greece in November 2015 and May 2017. We proposed to them that there should not only be a main road or central square named ‘Heroes of our National Independence Struggle’ but also another in honour of Hadji Halil Efendi. Most unfortunately, the local authorities did not have the Greek soul and basic integrity to even respond to our correspondence, let alone act upon it. The only exception to this was the conscientious Mr George Tsakos of the municipality of Zakynthos. The municipality of Marousi replied but, unfortunately, with a negative answer. Could there be something very rotten in all of those local councils?
Based on current legislation, every public service is obliged to reply to letters of citizens. If the response is in the negative, it must be substantiated. The mayors, community presidents and local councilors treat the laws and the citizens with disdain. O tempora, o mores!
9. Fortunately, God, who is the giver of every good thing, gave courage to the heroes of the Greek Revolution. Without many weapons, but with unshakeable faith in our Saviour Jesus Christ, they rose up and exclaimed the battle hymn:
“For the holy faith in Christ
and the freedom of our homeland
for these two I fight
and if I do not succeed
what is the good of living?”
10. These heroes of the 1821 Revolution pledged many offerings to the Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ which they were able to fulfil themselves.
11. However, their pledge to build a monument of doxology, thanksgiving, gratitude and worship to Christ who granted their freedom, was not fulfilled. This was a pledge unanimously made through the 8th Resolution of the 4th National Assembly on 31st July 1829 in Argos.
Royal decrees of the year 1834 (dated 5/29-1-1834 in the Government Bulletin) and 1838 (dated 12/11-4-1834 in the Government Bulletin) finalized the promise and the other heroes agreed to fulfil the pledge in the new capital of Athens. Yet, semi-literate pseudointellectuals do not accept that the Pledge of Kolokotronis is a part of history!
12. Significant steps were taken in that direction, following Kolokotronis and Kapodistrias, by Otto, King George I, and Themistocles Sofoulis, culminating in the laying of the foundation stone in the park called Pedion Areos on 30-3-1930 by the President of the Republic Andreas Zaimis, who had served as Prime Minister of Greece six times, together with the Prime Minister of the day, Eleftherios Venizelos!
13. From long ago we have sought from the District of Athens, who is responsible for the Pedion Areos park, to grant us a portion (where the foundation stone was laid in 1930) in order to turn it into an earthly paradise, with a Church dedicated to the Liberator and Saviour Jesus Christ and a splendid surrounding area, so that it would become a national, religious and socially beneficial project, with free entry to all.
For more details, see a document of our Foundation, dated 11-7-2017 addressed to the former District Governor Ms Dourou as well as the response of the District dated 31-7-2017.
14. This effort of ours has been done with integrity and absolutely no self-interest, as we wish to do everything with complete transparency for the benefit of our suffering fellow human beings and the glory of God. This approach attracts the hatred of those who hypocritically present themselves in a noble way but in fact try to divide things among themselves. In this respect, they pretend that they do not see or hear. No one is more deaf than the person who does not want to hear, and no one is more blind than the person who does not want to understand! Oh what times we live in, what conventions!
15. The Pledge of Kolokotronis was also supported by the ‘saint of politics’ Ioannis Kapodistrias who was the Governor of Greece. Most of the subsequent politicians of Greece cannot resemble even his little finger, as they did not follow the principles of that great man. For example:
a) His encyclical of 8-6-1828 which stated: “You are to communicate the contents of this document to your employees, or to the officers under your command, for them to inform you whether they are members of any secret Society… The oaths made to serve the State or serve the mystical Societies are mutually exclusive. If your employees or officers belong to such a Society, they must resign”!
Sadly, most of yesterday’s and today’s rulers have joined not only Masonism and Zionism, but also all the satanic and anti-Christian organisations of the world!
b) Kapodistrias’ doctor, seeing his health deteriorate due to ceaseless efforts, advised him strictly to improve his diet. Kapodistrias replied: “I will never allow myself to have better food, except when I am certain that not even one Greek child suffers hunger.”
16. By contrast, our current politicians:
a) Are not satisfied with their high ‘legal’ wages, which are disproportionately greater than those of others.
b) They also make decisions in their own favour for enormous bonuses if they take part in committees. They even received social allowances that were designed for the poor! Woe to the greed and insatiability of these lazy people! As if the Greek people need leeches to suck the last drop of their blood!
c) These malevolent people who shun responsibility voted for a law regarding the responsibility of ministers, ensuring that they are absolved of any wrongdoing after two parliamentary periods!
d) They also voted to be paid a pension after three and half years of service, except for younger members of parliament. By contrast, the hardworking average person needs to work many decades to receive a meagre pension. How immoral is it for the supposed leaders of the nation to mock the veterans of life?
e) What can we say about the favours granted to those who ‘hang on’ to political parties and unions? These hordes of parasites consume public funds derived from excessive taxation placed upon private initiative, and enter into dubious loan agreements with local and foreign usurers, thereby mortgaging the Greeks for many generations!
f) They also receive unbelievable commissions for deals they do with the vultures of corruption and people who are behind the scenes but control the vicious cycle.
g) These people have such hatred for the Orthodox Church and the workers of Orthodoxy, that they offer them 95 million euro for the salaries, insurance and retirement of the Clergy and their families. However, in this way they try to take and mortgage the holy churches, monasteries and their priceless treasures. In a future Presidential Decree they will abolish all grants so as to leave the Orthodox clergy ‘out in the cold.’ Because the Roman Catholic, Israeli and Moslem brotherhoods remain untouched. Let us stand well before it is too late!
17. These miserable leaders also abolished the MOMA which constructed works excellently and economically, so as to serve instead the big publishers, media owners and big businessmen who gain much more for doing works of cheaper quality. Thus money is shared under the table …
18. Of the countless scandals, we have seen the tips of only several icebergs, such as (a) the Eleftherios Venizelos airport, (b) the purchase of weaponry with submarines that lean to one side and expensive arms, (c) the SIEMENS scandal, (d) the national highways, (e) the tolls and (f) the sale of the most profitable businesses such as
· PROPO (sports betting agency)
· the Agricultural Bank for 90 million euro when it was worth much more
· the Postal Fund
· the enormous expanse of prime land of the old Hellenikon airport for approximately 730 million euro
· the party cliques which take turns in having power, and when one party does not receive 3% of the vote in the following elections and is excluded from parliament, the loans nevertheless accumulate. Today, our beautiful Greece has loans of about 420 billion euro
· of this amount, 280 billion have gone into refinancing the banks which are supported by the shameless establishment, and which are given surplus powers to behave like the ‘gestapo’ towards the average worker whose anxiety today for the future leads him to deprive himself in order to have something later on. In spite of this, the shares in the systemic banks have fallen to below one euro. They have also been given the power to act as a cartel, which in other countries would be punished with fines of millions of euro
· and finally the Novartis scandal has been covered up as much as possible.
19. Consequently, only a few are sent to jail in Greece, and those who are sentenced normally get convicted for relatively small matters. The majority have relatives and descendants who are thriving. Some who are caught are still free, because in Greece there is no justice, essentially. Instead, the major scandals are covered up on the grounds that the matter has lapsed, based on orders from above.
In these cases, the theory of Anacharsis (6th century before Christ, and friend of Solon) proves to be true: “All human laws are like the web of a spider, which catches and kills all the weak insects while allowing the big ones to pass through”!
20. As the magazine Foteini Grammi has always stressed (see also the website www.fotgrammi.gr and Twitter account @PANEL_TAMA), it is not only the political leadership that is to blame, but also the spiritual leadership. The Theanthropos Christ had no income or a “place to rest his head” (Matthew 8:20). He taught us to make use, not abuse, of material things without becoming attached to them. We are to live according to the Spirit, as the Apostle Paul and thousands of spiritual persons have believed:
“You know for yourselves that I worked with my own hands to support myself and my companions” (Acts 20:34)
“Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I am not indignant?” (2 Corinthians 11:29)
21. Except for some hermits and ascetics, the Clergy today do not have to apply in their own lives the above-mentioned saying of the Apostle Paul (to earn a living from one’s hands). The Bishops, Metropolitans and Patriarchs have to be careful not to scandalize the faithful through any extravagant living, as it is they and their associates who wish to manage the amounts of money that are given for good works.
22. By contrast, the ‘dean’ of lawyers, the late Elias Paraskevas used to say: “I do not go by car to my work. Rather, I use the public transport so as to experience the pain and trials of the poor people. It is a great sin for a car to serve only one person.” At his funeral, the Presidents of the High Court and the Council of State said: “We did not want him to end his addresses to the court, as everything he said gave the greatest satisfaction and most precious teaching for us all.”
23. There will be many surprises in heaven. How many humble, devout and virtuous monks in rags will judge the ‘peacocks’? Many do not wish to accept that “We do not have a permanent city here, but we seek the one to come” (Hebrews 13:10). How many unlettered shepherds or farmers or peasants will judge all those who love glory, who climb their way up through every means without meritocracy!
24. There are examples of liaison with the establishment, such as in Regulation 8/1979 (Government Bulletin 1/1980) and the law 2200/1940 (Government Bulletin 42/1940), which state that they are to manage everything themselves.
25. The Apostle Paul did not wish to impose on the local churches in the slightest, by working not only to cover his own expenses, but also those of his co-workers. Many volumes of dissertations would not suffice to enumerate his untold deprivations and persecutions.
26. In summary, although the New Martyrs and heroes of the 1821 Revolution liberated us from Turkey, we enslaved ourselves to the west, to Caesaropapism, Protestantism, the heresies of ecumenism, Masonism-Zionism and Marxism with all its anarchist offshoots.
27. The models of Orthodoxy, such as the holy Apostles and Fathers, who believed in God and not gold, used the raw language of truth rather than the rigid, lifeless language of the politicians, diplomats, Pharisees, scribes and hypocrites.
28. What have we come to? We are again in the times of Sodom, Gomorrah and Pompey when the police were given strict orders to attack, not those who acted immorally, but rather those who protested against it! This is not democracy, because democratic freedom should stop there where the freedom of another is obstructed. Otherwise it is the rule of anarchy, vice and the most unbearable form of fascism.
29. Our wisest ancestor Socrates, father of the philosophers, showed religious respect, even though he did not believe idols, by asking his student to sacrifice a cock to Asclepius. Furthermore, the Apostle Paul did not castigate the idols as such, but rather complimented the Athenians for having a monument dedicated to the Unknown God, before presenting to them the true God that would redeem them from the false gods.
30. Unfortunately, the judicial powers have not dared to intervene, out of fear of being ostracized or exiled. When they are in their positions, they show no conscience for their own purposes. Yet, once they have safely retired, they suddenly acquire the ability to speak up…
31. If we should mourn the Fall of Constantinople once, then we should mourn countless more times for every fall brought about by the useless individuals responsible for state, political, legislative, administrative and religious leadership.
32. We must all stand against this together. We must stave off evil, lest we mourn the future fall not only of Greece, but of the Greek people and nationhood as a whole. We show indifference to the bombs being placed at the foundations of Orthodoxy, the Greek language and civilization, which are the links in the chain of our people. Thanks to these we were able to maintain our common blood, common language, common faith and common customs, for the survival of Greek and Orthodox consciousness.
33. Let us not rest on our laurels, having the crystal-clear sayings of our ancestors, and the wise counsels of the scholars of Greece, but let us instead ‘come down to earth’ with the realistic observations expressed by Alexandros Papadiamantis or our poet George Souris, who wrote 120 years ago:
“Whoever saw a meagre nation
unique in all the world
spending one hundred
but gathering fifty…
O, your misfortune Greece
With the children that you bore
O, Hellas, country of heroes
What donkeys you bear now!”
34. We have stated repeatedly that, without a priest and teacher, our villages and rural areas in general can become rough again. We should always be mindful of the words of Kolokotronis when addressing the school children at Pnyka on 8-10-1838: “You must guard your faith and make it firm, because when we took up arms we said we were fighting first for faith and then for country.”
To repeat, the Pledge of the Nation is the only thing which will encourage and rejuvenate the wounded morale and collective vigour of the Greeks!
Let us all work together to realise this vision as soon as possible, in view of the forthcoming 200th anniversary of our Rebirth since 25th March 1821, to at least have the basic structure of the building in place!
*Teacher of National Music, Former provost of the Philological Association «Parnassos», Former President of Society for the Dissemination of National Music Paleographer