Greek Church leaders’ “ultimatum” demanding reopening of Churches

27 April 2020
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Archbishop Ieronymos has requested in a letter to the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis the opening of the Churches, according to reports.

The letter, signed by Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens as President of the Permanent Holy Synod, emphasises that the Churches must be opened for the faithful with all the necessary measures for the protection of public health, ie all distances must be observed and with the presence of a particular number of believers on the basis of the square footage of each temple and the distances required between the faithful.

The majority of the Metropolitans are appealing to the state to express understanding on their request and re-open the temples with the necessary compliance of the faithful to the state measures.

According to reports, the Church leaders feel left out in terms of the decision making process, citing as examples the dialogue between the Churches in Austria and Germany with the respective states to shape a response amid the crisis, while the Greek state has not considered the view of the Greek Church.

Archbishop Ieronymos decided to send the letter after a telephone conversation with the synodal Hierarchs and in the context of the gradual return of the country to normalcy and the reopening the of various sectors and activities. The letter was sent to the prime minister last Thursday and so far there has been no reaction. All eyes are on tomorrow’s statements by the prime minister. A similar letter was sent to the Prime Minister by the Church of Crete, requesting the reopening of the Temples.

Most Metropolitans are appealing to the State to understand that temples must be opened as the demand is palpable. As long as the measures are observed, the metropolitans say, the Churches must be opened.

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