The new Ministers of the Greek cabinet after yesterday’s reshuffle are scheduled to be sworn in at 11 am today, amidst the conflict that broke out between the Church leaders and the state following the former’s decision to defy the government lockdown measures and perform the blessing of the waters on Wednesday and perform the Epiphany liturgy in Temples.
Sources say PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis will meet with Archbishop Ieronymos II during the swearing-in ceremony at the Presidential Palace in an effort to reach a compromise.
The swearing-in will start at 11:00 and Archbishop Ieronymos will also attend, as announced by the spokesman of the Metropolitan Athenagoras.
“The Police will do their job and we will do ours,” said the spokesman of the Permanent Holy Synod, Metropolitan Athenagoras, making clear the Church’s intentions for tomorrow’s celebration of Epiphany, after the government’s unambiguous response that it would not allow the blessing of the waters outdoors to take place with believers.
As the State and Church are on a collision course, the latter will appeal to the Council of State together with the 82 Dioceses, while Archbishop Ieronymos will perform the sanctification of the waters in the open sea in the area of the Archdiocese of Athens. Ecclesiastical circles say the move by the Archbishop had galvanised the whole Church and the flock a few weeks after the adventure of his health, sending the message to the State “enough is enough”.
The Greek state minced no words after yesterday’s decision by the Church to go ahead with the Epiphany liturgy and perform the open sanctification of the waters warning that the law could not be applied arbitrarily.