Elder Paisios said the following in November of 1988, and it is recorded in the book Elder Paisios of Mount Athos, Spiritual Counsels I: With Pain and Love for Contemporary Man.
You see, however, they felt rebuked and wanted to give their conscience rest. And like the ancient Greeks, who in order to justify their passions found twelve gods, so also they looked to find a religion to justify their passions, to find rest in this matter.
Islam somehow serves them. They are allowed to take as many women as they want, they are promised a mountain of rice in the next life, a lake of yogurt and a river of honey. And no matter how many sins they have, if they are washed with warm water when they die, they are cleansed! They go to Allah clean! What else do they want? Everything is convenient!
But the French will not find rest. They go to rest, but they will not rest, because passions cannot be justified.
Whatever the people do, even if they are without feeling, they will not find rest. They justify what is unjustifiable, but they are internally tormented, they are enraged. This is why they seek entertainment, running to the drums, getting drunk, watching television.
In other words, they are being idle, in order to forget, because they feel rebuked. And when they sleep, do you think they are resting? There is a conscience, you see. The first Holy Scripture God gave to the first-formed was the conscience, and we carry the photocopies of it from our parents. No matter how much someone violates their conscience, within them they fell rebuked. This is why they say: "The termite is eating him."
Yes, there is nothing sweeter than to have a conscience at rest. They feel wings within them...flying.
Translated by John Sanidopoulos.