This case stemmed from revisions made by the previous minister of education, Nikos Filis, to the Orthodox religious education of children, in direct contradiction to the Greek Constitution. This brazen attack on traditional religious, cultural, and moral values did not go unnoticed. Metropolitan Seraphim Mentzelopoulos appealed these changes to Greece’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, and successfully won an overturn of the revisions.
As reported by themanews.com:
“In particular, the Judges decided that the former minister’s changes are contrary to Article 16 of the Constitution, which states that education is a basic mission of the state, and among its aims is the development of national and religious consciousness. The development of the Christian Orthodox consciousness in the mainstream religion of the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ is imposed by the Constitution.
It was also ruled that the ministerial decision was contrary to Article 13 of the Constitution, which enshrines the freedom of religious consciousness to be inviolable, since the contested decision was directed exclusively at Christian Orthodox students. The teaching of religion lessons is also aimed at consolidating the Christian Orthodox faith as it is from the context of family life and the student’s environment prior to schooling.
The judges argued that the teaching of religion introduced by the contested ministerial decision is likely to affect the sensitive mental world of students who do not have the critical perception of adults and divert them from the Christian Orthodox consciousness.”
In turn, Filis, whose professional experience prior to becoming education minister seems to consist of editorial positions in the newspaper Avgi, SYRIZA’s official press organ, and who does not have a university degree of any kind, called the Council of State’s ruling “medieval.”
The government of Greece seems to be constantly coming up with bad policies that the people then have to stand guard against, and education is no exception. If not for the diligence of the Church, this would have been allowed to go uncontested. This particular case is one in which the government was even going to violate its own constitution in order to dilute the faith of Greeks, most likely in order to please its EU masters.
Update: Filis, unhinged, continues to strike back against the Council of State’s decision. In statements made on Thursday, he deemed the court’s decision “unconstitutional” while questioning the inclusion of the Holy Trinity in the Greek Constitution.
These statements seem to be part of the SYRIZA-led government’s continued attack on the Greek justice system, which has been snowballing in recent weeks. This has resulted in a situation where a “democratic” government is openly defying the decisions of the highest judicial organ in the country.