Statement on the Death of George Floyd by Metropolitan Alexios

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Source: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta

Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta

June 5, 2020

To all the faithful of the Metropolis of Atlanta:

My beloved children in the Lord,
I greet you with love in the name of our  Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Like so many of my fellow citizens, and indeed, others around the world, I also join them in expressing the extreme pain and outrage for the senseless death of George Floyd. In the week that has followed, our country has seen a time of great unrest, discussion, and serious contemplation about the future. I echo the words of our venerable Archbishop of America, His Eminence Elpidophoros, who stated, ““The unjust slaying of George Floyd cannot be where America stands. Violence only breeds violence, but when such violence is perpetrated by those in authority, we must all stand up and say: ‘Not on our watch!’ We must stand against racism and stand for equality for all.”

As Christians, it is our goal to live in peace with all our neighbors, in imitation of Christ Who is our Peace. Unfortunately, the brokenness of our human existence means that such a goal is often very difficult. Even so, in the face of evil and wrongdoings, we must continue to pray, as we do in the beginning of every Divine Liturgy, “For the peace from above and the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.” 

In times like these, we must remember that we are all brothers and sisters created in the Image and Likeness of our God, and we need to live in peace and harmony. As my Brother Hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco wrote: “When we bring harm to another person, it is as if we are bringing harm directly to God. The tragic death of George Floyd and the deaths that have occurred as a result of the protests have transgressed this fundamental truth.”

This is the spirit that exists in the Orthodox faith, and as we await the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday, we pray that the Counselor, the Spirit of Truth,, will bring justice to the world, and protect those who cannot defend themselves, so that we may live in brotherly love which emanates from our Creator Himself. With this, I remain,

Yours with paternal love and blessings in the Lord,

+ALEXIOS
Metropolitan of Atlanta

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2 Comments

  1. Though a thoughtful statement, Bp Alexios does not address the systemic racism that exists in the GOA. The GOA has done nothing to reach out and evangelize the black community. In fact, most members of the GOA believe that that GOA is not for blacks. The GOA needs to repent of its racism.

  2. Lance Hogben on

    I think many if not most Orthodox Christians are at the very least insensitive to the problem of racism. Cradle Orthodox from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean are not culturally endowed with much in the way of openness to the racial ‘other’, and many converts are taking refuge in Orthodoxy to escape ‘hyper-liberal’ mainstream Protestantism. Typically, they carry with them a strong attachment to ideological conservatism which explicitly rejects the language of social justice as anathema to their vision of moral conservatism.

    Orthodoxy in the US faces all the vicissitudes of our nation now roiled by outrage over official and systematic, state-sanctioned violence against colored people. Many clergy, ethnic and convert alike, feel their defense of Orthodoxy is tied up with their vision of a former morally purer society, where homosexuals were invisible and colored people meekly avoided confrontation with police… a false narrative that overlooks the vast well of spiritual suffering that a white supremacist America produces.

    I fear there will be disruption and breaking of ties within the Orthodox community here as conflict over whether to resolve injustice or just sweep it under the rug worsens. Clergy are supposed to maintain peace within their parishes so likely parishes that are populated by mostly white and conservative-identified folks will veer to the right and remain racially unintegrated. They will become irrelevant to most people.

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