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The Church of Greece under Axis Occupation$
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Panteleymon Anastasakis

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823261994

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823261994.001.0001

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A Prelude of Events to Come

A Prelude of Events to Come

The Expansion of the Role of the Hierarchy in the Final Days of Freedom (April-May 1941)

(p.59) 3 A Prelude of Events to Come
The Church of Greece under Axis Occupation

Panteleymon Anastasakis

Fordham University Press

This chapter explores the prominent role of the church during the waning months of Greece’s role as an active belligerent during World War II by chronicling and analyzing the powerful role three hierarchs (Metropolitan Spyridon of Ioaninna, Archbishop Chrysanthos of Athens, and Metropolitan Eirenaios of Samos) played during Greece’s transition from independent state to occupied nation. Awaiting the inevitable defeat of the army and occupation of their country, political and military leaders frequently involved local hierarchs in the decision-making process, a role far exceeding the one prescribed to the church leadership by legal precedent in modern Greece. Spyridon spearheaded the armistice discussions with General Georgios Tsolakoglou, while Eirenaios and Chrysanthos engaged in political and military discussions with local elites. Their involvement in sensitive political and military affairs served as a prelude of the growing power and influence of the church as a social and political actor during the Axis occupation.

Keywords:   Archbishop Chrysanthos of Athens, Georgios Tsolakoglou, Metropolitan Eirenaios of Samos, Metropolitan Spyridon of Ioaninna, World War II

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