There is something eschatologically exotic about Greek Islands. St John the Apostle received his apocalyptic vision on Patmos. It warned of the ‘Whore of Babylon’ and the coming of ‘the Beast’, whilst exhorting endurance through persecution by instilling hope in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Archbishop Chrysostomos of Paphos received his apocalyptic vision on Cyprus. It warned of the ‘villainy of Europeans’, whilst exhorting ‘Cyprus must as soon as possible leave the eurozone’.
These revelations are separated by almost two millennia, but their prophetic themes are the same: the cosmic battle is still good versus evil, and God will irrupt into human history and judge the wicked. Laodicean attitudes are not acceptable: the proud, self-satisfied and ‘lukewarm’ must take drastic action if they are to be saved:
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. (Rev 3:17f)
Archbishop Chrysostomos hasn’t quite told Cypriots to go and buy gold that is ‘tried in the fire’, but he might as well have done. The euro gave them the illusion of being ‘increased with goods’, and having ‘need of nothing’. But the Beast has left them ‘wretched, and miserable, and poor’.
Only three months ago the Archbishop was reminding his flock that they ‘belong to the great family of European nations and must therefore fight for the rights that all Europeans enjoy’. In the trauma of financial crisis, he socialised the problem, pleading that ‘we are all obliged to take our share our responsibility’.
Not any more. Enough is enough. Archbishop Chrysostomos has discovered the Gospel of Thatcher, now preaching fervently about the virtues of privatisation. „Business competition leads to economic progress,” he declares, fully persuaded that a programme of privatisation of public organisations should be rolled out as soon as possible, beginning with Cyprus Τelecommunications Authority.
But President Anastasiades prefers to raid the bank accounts of the thrifty, despite denying throughout the recent general election campaign that he would do anything of the sort. All account holders will lose 9.9 per cent of their deposits over „100,000, with a 6.75 per cent levy on smaller amounts. The indebted and profligate are to be spared this tax: there is no longer any virtue in saving. The objective is to raise „5.8bn to help fund another euro bailout. Bizarrely, in the absurd Mammon merry-go-round, bankrupt Greece is contributing „billions from its own bailout injection.
The euro project is devoid of all morality: there is no ethical perspective; no fiscal integrity; no framework of values to protect the rights of the common people. Cypriots are now prevented from accessing their own hard-earned savings, and all online transactions are prohibited. This is brutal. It is, quite literally, daylight robbery. But the ECBeast needs feeding, and its appetite is insatiable. Once it has consumed Greece and Cyprus, it will open its jaws on Spain, Italy and Portugal. If savings may legally be raided in Cyprus, why not elsewhere? The contagion is unrelenting; financial collapse inevitable.
Governments are urging caution; politicians are pleading for calm. They insist that the Greek island is ‘exceptional’ and the measures are ‘unique’. It is a lie. If you can do this once, you can do it again. People’s savings are no longer secure in any eurozone bank.
Into the darkness of this trauma and chaos comes an apocalyptic vision of the future. It is positive, joyous and victorious, heralding complete reformation and a new world order. Archbishop Chrysostomos has called for people’s deposits to be left intact and for his country to leave the eurozone. This heralds the second coming of the the Cypriot pound.
That is bold, prophetic, wise and welcome. Archbishop Chrysostomos is His Grace’s kind of cleric.