Metropolitan of Nea Ionia Gabriel said the Church would not tolerate the shutting down of churches during the Christmas period, in a Facebook live stream commenting on a letter sent to PM Mitsotakis by the Holdy Synod laying out the Bishops’ requests.
The Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church sent a letter to the Prime Minister last week, requesting the temples remain open during the Christmas period.
Amid the second aggressive wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Greek authorities have proceeded to close down all religious temples, confining them to closed-door services banning the presence of the faithful.
As the government mandates, Churches will remain closed during the lockdown, in accordance with the provisions of the Joint Ministerial Decision on the measures that will apply in the coming days in all places of worship. This effectively means that only the clergy and the necessary persons for the liturgy will be allowed to enter places of worship to perform the services.
According to sources, the Metropolitans of Veria and Xanthi expressed their support to the letter, while Archbishop Ieronymos, according to the same source, reportedly advised the Bishops to seriously consider the specific time frame and decide accordingly. them.
As Metropolitan Gabriel said during the stream, “You should know that the Holy Synod sent a letter to the authorities, saying that we will not tolerate the shutting down of temples during the Christmas period,” adding that the Church now had acquired the know-how and experience to manage the pandemic. “It is not because we want to retaliate or go against them. The Church has gained experience in managing this great crisis of the pandemic. The Church keeps social distancing, and refreshes the air and knows how to manage people in the space”.
Regarding the closing of the temples for the second time, the metropolitan of Nea Ionia stressed that the Church is not fighting science, it is an ally of science, saying: “The Church has not bowed its head, nor has defeatism. The Church, with the utmost prudence and respect for the great gift called human life, accepted the closure of the churches. She listened to the opinion of experts and realised that the pandemic has a very serious development and because it respects human life, it contributes, avoiding gatherings “.