Bishop Seraphim, a Greek Orthodox Bishop, has used his position to spout antisemitic conspiracy theories and declare his religion’s opposition to “Zionist” world domination.
Angered by a decision to replace him with another bishop on a trip to Israel for the Easter Festival of the Holy Fire.
Seraphim proceeded to blame Israel for blocking his visit and then pontificated about the evils of Zionism.
He said that Orthodox Christianity stood against Zionism, “especially against the wing of Zionism that seeks world domination”.
He accused other Christian denominations of being pro-Jewish, and accused Jews of using freemasonry to infiltrate governments.
He also quoted from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, from which many antisemitic myths around alleged Jewish attempts at world domination originate. According to the Definition of Antisemitism, “Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis” is Antisemitic, although it seems like he also spoke directly and unequivocally about Jews, too.
He is facing a lawsuit for his statements from the Greek Helsinki Monitor.
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece released the following statement:
“Once again, we are not surprised with the new delirium of the Orthodox Metropolitan of Piraeus, Seraphim, published on the official webpage of the Archdiocese of Piraeus,” the community said in a statement. “Despite his earnest efforts to dismantle the accusations of antisemitism, in his lengthy writings he refers to antisemitism as anti-Zionism, using well known antisemitic stereotypes, conspiracy theories and traditional Jew-hating attitudes, in order to be characterised not as antisemite but as anti-Zionist.”
“We believe that his statements are not compatible with the status of an official of the Greek Orthodox Church, a Church that evokes love and solidarity, neither with the status of a state official who is obliged to remain loyal to the Constitution and the laws of the Greek State”
“We are certain that His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos (patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church) will agree that the hate campaign against the Jewish people is incompatible with the principles and the history of the Greek Orthodox Church.”
“The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece kindly asks His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos and the Hierarchs of the Church of Greece to isolate the extreme racist and antisemitic views circulating within the Church, which poison Greek society and undermine the harmonious co-existence of all Greek citizens, regardless of gender, skin colour or religion”