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BASIC DOGMATIC TEACHING

An Orthodox Handbook

by Fr. Anthony Alevizopoulos

 

About the Author

Born in the town of Kazarma of Messinia (Peloponnese) in the year 1931. He was the 11th and last son of a family with many children, born among 9 sons and 2 daughters.  He received his basic education in Kazarma and his High School education in Kalamata. He graduated from the School of Theology of the Athens University in 1957 and acquired his PhD in Philosophy in Magentia.  He served as an assistant at the University of Muenster.  He acquired a PhD in Theology at the Athens University.

He was married to Antonia Lentz, with whom he had three sons.

Ordained a deacon and presbyter by the Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain Athenagoras in 1962 in Stuttgart and served as a parish priest in Hannover and Cologne.

He returned to Greece in 1968 and was assigned as parish priest of the Sacred Temple of the Holy Trinity in the Ambelokipi suburb of Athens (where he continued to serve, until his final rest).  He had also contemporarily served as Secretary to the Synodical Committee for Emigrant Hellenism and in 1980 as Secretary to the Synodical Committee on Heresies. He had organized the following sectors of activities: «Classes for Staff of Ecclesiastic Welfare» 1968, «School for Ministry  Volunteers» 1971, «Classes for Confronting Heresies» 1976 e.a.. 

Served as:

Director of the Bureau for Pastoral Confronting of Heresies at the Athens Archdiocese; Director of the Archdiocese's Information Service on Dialogue and Culture;  Chairman of the Spiritual Council of the "Pan-Hellenic Union of Parents for the Protection of the Greek Orthodox Civilization, Family and Individual";  the first Vice-Chairman of the "Orthodox Educational Centre for Information and Dialogue"; Chairman of the Spiritual Council of Saint Paraskeva; 

Vice Chairman Á´ of the «Interorthodox Union of Parental Initiatives». 

As Secretary of the Synodical Committee he had organized a host of Clergy-Laity Synaxes, Conventions, Seminars, Meetings, Pan-Hellenic and Pan-Orthodox Conferences, the "Seminar of Faith", the "Seminar of Edification in Orthodoxy", the "Seminar of Orthodox Faith", the "Theological Seminar".

He authored 40 books of varying pastoral content, which covered the sectors of parishional activity, the demarcation of the Orthodox Faith and the pastoral strategy of the Church against the various heresies.

Together with associated he composed the Bulletins: «Witness», «Inform», «Information Bulletin», «Communication Bulletin».  Many of his articles were published in daily newspapers and periodicals.  He had two regular programs on the Radio Station of the Church of Greece.

He participated in numerous International Conventions on Parental Initiatives Abroad, in assemblies of the World Council of Churches and Conventions for Human Rights as well as conventions of anti-heresy content, in Russia, Bulgaria and Cyprus.

He departed for the Lord on the 2nd of May 1996, having dedicated his life to the Church and having offered immense services for the support of the Truth of the Faith and the Pastoral opus of the Church.

 

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... Throughout all his tumultuous life, he was preoccupied with the heresies that attack the weaker members of the Church, who are led into spiritual delusion and confusion, apostasy from God, and the jeopardizing of eternal life.  He displayed an apostolic zeal in this matter, as well as a prophetic disposition.  He reminded me of the Prophets and the Judges of the Old Testament, who were deeply concerned with the spiritual health of the people. After all, the characteristic sign of the Prophets was their struggle against every form of religious syncretism.  The war that the ever-memorable Father waged for many years against heresies had consequences on his person also, as he was confronted by a multitude of various offensives, tests, persecutions, just as all of God's conscientious children are subjected, when they struggle out of love for the sake of "His appearing" (2 Tim.4:8) [...]   He worked on analyzing the teachings of the miscellaneous heresies so that those who were weak in faith would not be misled by the leader of heresies', the devil; but he also showed concern for the confession of the Faith, given that in all of his books, he would quote the basic elements of the Faith; he authored the marvelous book "An Orthodox Handbook" and he also created programs for "Orthodox edification", in his attempts to catechize the hundreds and thousands of people who approached the Orthodox Church after painfully wandering around demonic pathways. [...]  Whenever I approached Fr. Anthony - especially during his last days - and would hear from his own mouth the difficulties that he had faced, I was astounded. I remember one time when he told me that he wrote and read with the minimal sight that was left in his one eye, since he could not see at all with the other eye.  It was then that I was left speechless, and rejected even the very few doubts that others had expressed about his person.  In his case applied the words of Christ to the Apostle Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor.12:9)   My admiration increased, when he told me of his Presbytera's illness and his family's difficulties in general.  And yet, despite the temptations, he worked tirelessly on that difficult and responsible pastoral labour that the Church assigned to him.  I prayed during the period of his sickness. When I was informed of his passing, I felt deeply moved, but also joyous from the point of view that a servant of Christ had departed - a laborer of the Church who confessed Christ and bore His Name, "before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel." (Acts 9:15)

---Rev.Metropolitan of Nafpaktos and Saint Vlasios, Hierotheos Vlachos

 

I believe that for many years to come, the voice of our Church on the matter of heresies and para-religious organizations will be "the voice of Anthony Alevizopoulos".  And I believe I am not exaggerating when I maintain that if we, the "inadequate" ones want to speak correctly in this sensitive pastoral area, we should speak "according to Alevizopoulos".  He was the one who paved the way, both for the preventive as well as the therapeutic confrontation of the plague of heresies.  His apologetics  works are of an inestimable value and are acknowledged internationally.  His books will constitute, for many years to come, a basic sector of contemporary Greek and international anti-heretical bibliography, as well as invaluable aids that should accompany every pastor and every parish in their pastoral labors.

---Fr. Kyriakos Tsouros,
Secretary to the Church of Greece's Synodical Committee on Heresies.

 

Ôhe entire works of the Greek Father Anthony testifies to a soul that is ablaze with zeal in favour of Orthodoxy for that portion of Christianity which, with the passing years and despite all the terrifying offensives of its enemies, has remained holy and untainted.  God has always preserved for Himself a remnant, a holy portion, of great men, who would bring the Truth to its final and overwhelming victory.  Father Anthony is numbered among them, and it fills our heart with joy and hope, seeing that Holy Orthodoxy always has Her own, blessed champions.

---Fr. Dimitri Staniloae

 

 

We have acquainted ourselves well with him, and we give witness that he bore within him the genuine characteristics of an apostolic man - an unashamed laborer of the Gospel.  He lived for Christ and the Church.  A benevolent man, filled with a holy spirit, modest, a proper caretaker of his own house, untiring, unbending, militant, uncompromising, ablaze with divine zeal, an excellent pastor and a very caring father, methodical and hard-working; a chosen vessel of God and the sword of the Spirit against soul-destroying organizations and movements."  

---Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Christodoulos

 

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Article published in English on: 20-6-2011.

Last update: 20-6-2011.

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