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UNIA: The face and the disguise

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Now in circulation is the English edition of the book “UNIA: The Face and the Disguise” by Protopresbyter Fr. George Metallinos, Professor Emeritus of the Athens University School of Theology. This new edition is included in the publications of the Christian Orthodox Philanthropical Society of Friends of the Sacred Retreat of Pantokrator at Melissohori “Saint Gregory Palamas”. 

In this very notable essay, Father George examines the historical course and the significance of the religious-political entity named “Unia”, that is, of the Papist communities in the Orthodox regions of Eastern Europe and the Middle East – mainly during the past four centuries – who have deceptively been observing the Orthodox liturgical rubric (sacred services, language, vestments, etc.), but have acknowledged primacy and infallibility in the person of the Pope of Rome.  The author analyzes Unia’s early link to the Papist “Holy Inquisition”, but also to the Jesuits, who had originally organized Unia as a disguised Latinism.  According to Fr. George, Unia was –on the one hand– a factor that balanced out the damage sustained by Papism on account of the Protestant Reform from the 16th century onwards, and on the other hand, it was also a lever that elevated the Pope as a universal Bishop, whose prestige is supposedly recognized not only in the West but also in the East, that is by the Uniates, who are a mere semblance of “Easterners”.   Unia exploited various favourable coincidences, such as the financial adversity that prevailed in various countries as well as schisms, but, par excellence, it exploited the support of Roman Catholic Governors, to impose itself en masse or even with force on Orthodox populations.  The strengthening of Unia was nothing short of the continuance of the Papacy’s medieval struggle for dominance (Investiture Controversy), for the implementation also of political and not only ecclesiastic authority by Rome.  It was the Pope’s oppression of the Orthodox through Unia that made the Orthodox of Eastern Europe turn to Russia during World War II - the same time during which the Uniates were collaborating with the German Nazis. 

The Professor of Ecclesiastic History especially focuses on the emergence of Unia in the region of Greece and the reaction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Greece, as well as -for example- the successful proselytism to Unia of the destitute Asia Minor refugees, through Uniate “philanthropy”. The upgraded (with Cardinals) status of Unia by the Vatican, both in the Ukraine and the broader area during the last decades, but also the Vatican’s stance on the ethnic and ecclesiastic subject of Skopje’s pseudo “Macedonia” and the wars of former Jugoslavia, prove that the problem of Unia is not one of the past. The Vatican’s persistence in preserving and strengthening Unia despite the reactions of the Orthodox, but also of many important Papist personages – and in spite of the damage to the ecumenist “dialogue of love” – proves that Unia continues to this day to be extremely precious to the Vatican, for the salvaging of its crumbled moral status and also for the weakening of Orthodox peoples, States and alliances (the current events in the Ukraine are most revealing). 

Finally, the author analyzes the soteriological repercussions of Unia’s activity, given that by maintaining all the heretic dogmas of Papism – dogmas that were condemned by Ecumenical Councils – Unia is deemed detrimental to the prerequisites for in-Christ salvation.  The matter of Unia is no longer a hiero-canonical one, as were the instances of Rome’s encroachments over a thousand years ago in the jurisdictions of the Eastern Patriarchates; it is primarily an ecclesiological problem and should be considered as a reason for the revision and redefinition of the theological dialogue of the Orthodox with an uncompromising and aggressive Rome.  The text is also flanked by significant, related, pan-Orthodox documents.

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book size (in cm): 12,5X20.5
Pages: 124
ISBN: 978-618-81489-1-8
Language: English
1st edition: 2015

Publisher: Greek-Orthodox books

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The untrustworthiness of the official theological Dialogue between the Orthodox  Church and the Papacy is, among other things, also proven by UNIA’s participation in the Dialogue – especially after its official recognition by both sides during the 1993 Meeting at Balamand. However, it has been historically and theologically confirmed that the mention alone of the name “UNIA” brings back painful memories to the Orthodox, of all the atrocious schemings and the negative behaviours imposed on Orthodoxy by the Papacy over a series of centuries.

UNIA has always served the Papist demands to universally impose the Pope’s status of primacy (PRIMATUS JURISDICTIONIS), and also for the recognition of the Pope as the Vicar of Christ and as the universal head of the Church. This explains why on the one hand the previous Pope, Benedict XVI, had characterized the Orthodox Church as “deficient” for not accepting the Primacy and the infallibility linked thereto, while the current Pope regards Her as “weak” for the same reason. In other words, albeit there being an ongoing dialogue – supposedly on the issue of the Primacy – the Popes are in fact unscrupulously flaunting primacy, by claiming that the said dialogue is only a pretense and that it is being held merely “for the sake of appearances”.

A historical-theological and hermeneutical therefore approach to UNIA will help the reader to comprehend the so-called “Dialogues between the Orthodox and Latin Churches”, both those of the past as well as the current ones. It will simultaneously reveal the vast responsibility of Orthodoxy’s Hierarchy, who - under the pressure of the New Age and its patrons - have ventured to sacrifice the in-Christ Truth, that is, Orthodoxy, which is the only possibility for the salvation of mankind and the world.

However, as we know from the Homilies of the blessed Chrysostom: “Unless one harms himself, no-one can harm him”. Our own mistakes and omissions have been exploited by our adversaries. This is what is being done by the Popes also, through UNIA.

I am grateful to the Christian Orthodox Philanthropic Society of Friends of the Holy Monastery of the Pantokrator “Saint Gregory Palamas” in Melissochori, who have included in their publications the present English translation of my essay on UNIA; as I likewise extend heartfelt thanks to a dear sister, Ms. Katerina Nikolopoulou who had undertaken the translation of this study of mine. May the Lord fortify them in their labours for the Faith, and bless their efforts.

Christmas 2014
Fr. George D. Metallinos

It is with fervent spiritual joy and expectation that we are prefacing the edition of the essay authored by the Very Reverend Protopresbyter Fr. George Metallinos, titled “UNIA: THE FACE AND THE DISGUISE”.

As Professor Emeritus of the National Kapodistrian University of Athens, Fr. George has stood out in the Hellenic theological scene over the last decades, for the magnitude of his theological scholarship, as well as for his trenchant analyses; a trenchancy which, however, does not in the least impair the broadness that characterizes his overall perception - both of the historical and theological context of all his topics in general, as well as the overall historical course of the most holy Orthodox Church.

Above all, however, Fr. George is discerned for his strict adherence to the Orthodox Tradition and the trust bequeathed by the Holy Fathers – an adherence which has been wrought by the fear of God, his unrelenting sense of hieratic responsibility, but also on account of the wealth of his theological knowledge. This strict adherence has rendered him renowned throughout our land for many years as an apologist of Holy Tradition, as also a formidable and respected personality - even by adversaries of the Church.

The present essay, which is a concise presentation of the problem known as “Unia” – that is, “Hellenic-rite” Papism – from the historical and ecclesiological aspect, firstly reveals the Vatican’s deceitful scheming against Orthodoxy with the Popes’ persistence in advocating in favour of Unia, the very moment that Unia has been wreaking damage to Orthodox ecclesiology but also bloodletting entire populations of Orthodox Christians of Eastern Europe and the Middle East; at the same time, this essay unfolds before us – in the abominating face of Unia – the model by which unrepentant Papism envisions the assimilation of the un-innovated Church: the Orthodox Church. The English edition of this book we believe comprises a valuable contribution for the orthodox awareness of our brethren worldwide, and for this, we extend our thanks and our congratulations to the author for his permission to circulate it in the present form.

Archimandrite Kyrillos
Abbot of the Sacred Retreat
of the Pantokrator of Melissochori

  Preface 8
  Prologue 10
1. God: the Lord of History 13
2. "Unia" 16
3. The historical framework 18
4. The genesis of the Holy Inquisition 22
5. The genesis of Unia 26
6. Unia and the Christian East 40
7. Unia in Greece 47
8. What is the real danger? 57
9. The Vatican's eloquent silence 57
10. How is the Pope's persistence explained? 62
11. "NO" to disorientation! 70
12. Conclusion 75
1. Encyclical of the Constantinople Synod (1722) addressed to the Antiochian Orthodox 78
2. Encyclical of the Constantinople Synod (1838) against the Latin innovations
3. Message of the Primates of the Holy Orthodox Churches (Excerpts) 115
4. Resolution of the Athens University Theological School's Department of Theology 122

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