On Greeks vs. Russians

Hieromonk Seraphim Rose 1934-1982

In general, the whole  concept of “Greek” versus “Russian” seems to us a rather artificial and is only a cause of quite unnecessary tensions and quarrels. Obviously, the “Greeks” who use “Russian” as a term of opprobium are thinking of a certain kind of attitude among Russians which is indeed deplorable; and the other side obviously has in mind some unpleasant characteristics of some “Greeks”. But this only proves we are all human, and the truth is not to be found in either “party” as such. It would be better and wiser to think of both “Greeks” and “Russians” only the best things, those which enter into the higher harmony of Orthodoxy, which is beyond nationalities. This is how Vladika John [Maximovitch] always thought of “Greeks” and is why he adopted many Greek customs which are not commonly practiced by Russians today — Greek customs, that is, which are closer to the authentic tradition of Orthodoxy, and certainly not just because they are “Greek”! (Oct 18/31, 1972 Letters From Father Seraphim)

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