Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Παπουλάκος:
Ο αυτόκλητος καλόγερος που καταφέρθηκε με μανία εναντίον του κράτους και της εκκλησιαστικής ιεραρχίας



«Είδα έκπληκτος να μνημονεύουν αυτόν τον φανατικό σε εκατοντάδες εκκλησίες, μελέτησα τους αριθμούς που έλεγαν ότι τον καιρό της εξέγερσης διατηρούσε έναν ιδιωτικό στρατό 6.000 ενόπλων και 15.000 αόπλων χωρίς να έχει ούτε ένα καπίκι στην τσέπη του ράσου του, άκουσα νέους και γέρους να επαναλαμβάνουν εκνευριστικά “το ΄χε προφητέψει ο Παπουλάκος” και είδα με φρίκη να πληθαίνουν στις μέρες μου οι φωνές να τον ανακηρύξουν άγιο. Ποιον; Αυτόν τον μανιακό που είδε “θείο όραμα” όταν τον χτύπησε ο τύφος, που έχριζε λοχαγό του ρωσικού στρατού κάθε μανιάτη πλιατσικολόγο που τον ακολουθούσε και που υποστήριζε ότι οι Αγγλοι σταύρωσαν τον Χριστό... Μετά απ΄ αυτά κατάλαβα ότι τούτος ο τόπος δεν έχει πολλές ελπίδες να επιζήσει. Ετσι που άφησαν τους Ελληνες αγράμματους και κακομοίρηδες, θα τους κυβερνούν πάντα οι πολιτικάντηδες, οι ρασοφόροι, οι υπάλληλοι των ξένων και οι πλούσιοι. Αυτοί θα βρίσκουν πάντα κάποιο πειθήνιο όργανο ή κάποιον ημίτρελο μανιακό να υλοποιήσει τα σχέδιά τους». Και όταν πια δεν τους κάνει, να τον αποτελειώνουν: «Σε μια ομιλία του έξω από το Γύθειο [ο Παπουλάκος] είπε σε δύο χιλιάδες παρευρισκομένους: “Εμαθα ότι η βουλωμένη (αυτή που έχει τη βούλα του σατανά) Σύνοδος έστειλε έναν Ιεροκήρυκα και με κακολογεί. Τον γνωρίζω και ονομάζεται Καστόρχης, είναι καλός και σπουδασμένος εις τα διαβολικά πανεπιστήμια, πλην ας έλθη εδώ, και ας φέρη και το Ευαγγέλιον και αν το εξηγήσει καλλίτερα από εμέ, να παύστε εμέ, ει δε και το εξηγήσω εγώ καλλίτερα, να παύστε εκείνον”. [...] Την ώρα που ο Παπουλάκος τον καλούσε σε μονομαχίες μπροστά σε άσχετους χωριάτες, ο Καστόρχης εξαγόραζε δεσποτάδες, φόβιζε παπάδες, δωροδοκούσε ιεροκήρυκες, διόριζε νεωκόρους και καντηλανάφτες, άλωνε τον μηχανισμό της τοπικής Εκκλησίας αργά και σταθερά. Σύντομα ο μοναχός Χριστόφορος, αν και προφυλαγμένος από ένοπλους φανατικούς χωριάτες, είχε απομείνει στην πραγματικότητα ολομόναχος».

* Απόσπασμα από αφήγηση που περιέχεται στο βιβλίο του Δημήτρη Καμπουράκη Άγιος Αγύρτης (εκδ. Πατάκη, 2009).
Σχετικό άρθρο του Βήματος: «Άγιος ή διάβολος» (20ης Δεκεμβρίου 2009, σ. Β2:17/37)

«Several popular uprisings took place primarily in the Peloponnese (including Mani, Pylos, Argos) during the first half of the nineteenth century. Central to all was protest against the formation of an autocephalous church and against state initiatives to close down a number of monasteries. Economic difficulties due to bad harvests, as well as the resistance of local communities to state bureaucracy, evidently played an important role in provoking these uprisings. However, popular protest was articulated primarily in religious terms. Under the influence of Russian interests and the policies of the Philorthodox Society (1839), popular protest focused on threats against Orthodoxy coming from the state and the official church (Aroni-Tsichli 1989, 51—179). The events that surrounded the preaching of the monk Christophoros Papoulakos in the late 1840s and early 1850s are particularly revealing of the impact of 'religious critique'. Papoulakos started visiting several regions in the Peloponnese in 1847. Before he was arrested by state military forces in 1852, he exercised a tremendous influence on agrarian populations. His preaching constituted an attempt to grasp the genuine and authentic meaning of Orthodoxy but also a form of cultural and political critique. He turned against 'immorality', the inadequacy of the official Church and the 'dangerous' activities of Papists and Protestants. His prophecies of future catastrophes became linked to the coming 400th anniversary of the fall of Constantinople. His preaching not only functioned as an Orthodox critique against the Orthodox Church of Greece itself, attacking its 'subordination to a Catholic king'; it also appealed to a popular nationalism that was based on the sense of superiority of Orthodox Greeks over Muslim Ottomans and Catholic 'Franks' (Aroni-Tsichli 1989, 284-310).

In a similar manner, the reaching of Apostolos Makrakis gained a large number of followers in the 1860s. Makrakis (1831—1905) and his followers sought a new meaning of Orthodoxy, outside the jurisdiction of official state and church authorities. Combined with elements of social critique and protest, along with visions of the Great Idea, Makrakis's teaching soon evolved in a variety of directions, ranging from straightforward religious nationalism to Christian socialism articulated in the newspaper Armageddon. It became influential mainly in the Peloponnese under the impact of the stafidiko (crisis in currant production) (Kalafatis 1993). Makrakis's teaching and activities provided the matrix for most religious organizations offering alternative versions of Orthodox collectivities, including Anaplasis at the end of the nineteenth century and Zoe in the early twentieth (Brang 1997, esp. 313-27).

The prompt reaction of the Church against these individuals and groups was not only related to its attempts to safeguard its position as the official guardian of a national religion. It also emphasized that varieties of Orthodoxy did not go unnoticed; in fact, they attracted committed adherents. Moreover, the ambivalence of the Church underlies the political instrumentalization of religion throughout the nineteenth century. By the end of that century, Orthodoxy was to be redeployed in the service of conservative and, later, anti-communist ideas. Indeed, religion stood at the centre of conservative politics and provided central elements in the ideological and symbolic order of the Greek Right (Makrides 2003; Bournazos 2003, esp. 55-6)».

* Roderick Beaton & David Ricks, The making of modern Greece: nationalism, Romanticism, & the uses of the past (1797-1896) (Publications for the Centre for Hellenic Studies, King's College), Ashgate Publishing, 2009, σσ. 102, 103.

«The layman Kosmas Flamiatos (1778-1852) protested against the the Church’s slavery to the State and the bishops’ indifference to their pastoral duties and the people. Flami[w]atos’ activity should be placed in the context of a patriotic effort to respond to the intellectual needs of the popular masses in connection with messianic expectations for the future of the Orthodoxy and the Greek nation. [ftn. Cf. K. BASTIAS, Papoulakos, New York, 1951, p. 138 (in Greek).] The work of Flamiatos, who was expelled for instigating riots and later died in prison, was continued by Archimandrite Ignatios Lambropoulos (1814-1869). The monk Papoulakos (1778-1852), a contemporary of Flamiatos, also attempted an intellectual awakening of the people by his preaching. However his preaching was more the result of monastic piety than of any expression of concern by the official Church.

Flamiatos, Papoulakos and Lambropoulos are generally considered the precursors of the religious brotherhoods, even though they did not plan or organize them, because of their critical attitude toward the Church hierarchy, their intense concern for the spiritual needs of the masses, their apologetic activities on behalf of Orthodoxy, and the missionary expression of their preaching. All came from the environment of the monastery of Mega Spileon and worked around Peloponnesus, but their ideas are rooted in the monasticism of Mount Athos. [ftn. It is known that those who set off from Mega Spileon start from the doctrine of Cosmas Etolos, Collyvades, Makarios of Corinth, Nikodimos Hagiorite and Athanasios Parios whose starting point is Mount Athos. Cf. E. PSILOPOULOS, "Le mouvement ’Zoi’ dans l’église orthodoxe de Grèce," Revue des Sciences Religieuses, 40 (1966), p. 261.]

Another important figure in the history of the religious brotherhoods, perhaps the greatest in the nineteenth century, was the layman Apostolos Makrakis (1831~1905).[ftn. Cf. M.-J. LE GUILLOU, O.P., "Apostolos Makrakis: ses intuitions apostoliques et spirituelles," Istina 3 (1960), p. 275.] Knowing both the thought of the Church Fathers and that of the ancient Greek philosophers, Makrakis emphasized the importance of returning to the fundamental principles of Church tradition. He supported both religious and political reform and projected himself as the reformer designated by Divine Providence. Eager for the religious reform of political life, he drew up a special political program (Christopoliteuma) and repeatedly participated in parliamentary elections. He also suggested a philosophical view of history stressing the theocratic mission of hellenism as "the new Israel."

This vision of "byzantine grandeur," which illustrates the national and religious messianism of the thinker, was enthusiastically received by many laymen and clergy who saw it as a kind of theoretical justification of their own ideas. The attitude of the Church hierarchy was reserved. Their inability to approach the people caused Makrakis’ reaction who saw his responsibility to lead the people back to the source, the roots of that tradition from which they had been cut off.

Makrakis comes from the people and becomes their leader in a desperate attempt which results in his seperation from the Church. This separation is due not only to Makrakis’ activities and disobedience, but also to the hierarchy’s unwillingness to extricate itself from the state bureaucracy in order to respond to the spiritual needs of the faithful. After Makrakis’ refusal to be reconciled with the Holy Synod, many of his followers abandoned him and created various religious movements and brotherhoods. Attenuating the extremes of Makrakis’ position, they nevertheless continued his appeals for a missionary approach to the masses, an apologetics of Orthodoxy, the religious education of children, the reform of national and political life, and reform within the Church».

* Basil Jioultsis [Βασίλειος Γιούλτσης], «Religious Brotherhoods: A Sociological View», Social Compass, Τόμ. 22, Αρ. 1, σσ. 67-83 (1975).

«The same pertains to the anti-Western Orthodox mass responses, for example, towards the decisions of political elites, who played a principal role in initiating and imposing Westernisation - even with the use of force - (e.g., in Russia by Peter the Great, whose pro-Western reforms later became a model deemed worthy of imitation in the entire South-Eastern Europe, and in the various Balkan states after their gradual liberation throughout the nineteenth century). Popular protest movements of an overtly religious character often had a different hidden character. In other words, they reflected social and economic dissatisfaction vis-à-vis the policies and influences of Westernisation. A popular protest movement of this kind appeared in Greece in the 1840s under the leadership of a monk named Christophoros Panayiotopoulos, alias Papoulakos. He reacted in this way against the policies of the Bavarian regime of King Othon of Greece. This attests to the fact that anti-Westernism possesses a great potential both for the transformation and the transposition of conflicts. In other words, purely religious conflicts may be transposed into secular contexts and lose their religious specificity. The ‘worldliness’ of Orthodox anti-Westernism thus has many facets. Anti-Westernism may take the form of an extreme nationalism, which can function as a surrogate for religion too. Orthodox anti-Westernism and its resentments can also be translated into their cultural equivalents. They can acquire a general philosophical or a literary status (cf. the debate between Slavophiles and Westernisers in nineteenth century-Russia and then F.M.Dostoevsky’s literary reproduction of the above debate)».

* Vasilios N. Makrides & Dirk Uffelmann, «Studying Eastern Orthodox Anti-Westernism: The need for a Comparative Research Agenda», στο Jonathan Sutton & Wil van den Bercken (εκδότες), Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary Europe (Eastern Christian Studies, τόμ. 3), Leuven: Peeters, 2003, σσ. 87-120.

Όσον αφορά το ζήτημα της υποψηφιότητας για αγιοποίηση του Παπουλάκου είναι ενδιαφέρον το αφιέρωμα του Ιού, «Η υποψηφιότητα ενός αγίου».

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