Speaking to the Greek Channel OPEN TV, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece spoke in favour of the use of the masks in churches but clarified that the measure must be put in place without any exceptions.
He stressed, “If our experts recommend it, then we must obey. An explanation is needed though, which will have a social impact. Will it only be applied in churches? Will it be applied in stadiums? Will it be applied during gatherings? Because experience shows that we are not honest and fair in this matter. It is unacceptable not to impose such measures in hairdresser’s shops, on the beaches, during gatherings, and to impose them in the Church. So, we will obey what experts tell us to do.”
In addition, he referred to the Turkish provocations and the moves of Turkish President Erdogan in relation to Hagia Sophia. Archbishop Ieronymos stressed, “Erdogan is in a dire political situation. He is very smart and knows how to play a lot of games. This is one of his games. When we consider the matter thoroughly, we begin to wonder. Is he going to soothe the troubled waters around the world for the barbaric thing he has done to Hagia Sophia? Is he aiming to defuse the situation by permitting the Liturgy to be celebrated at the Soumela Monastery? Secondly, the status of Hagia Sophia is different from that of the Soumela Monastery. It is a church that has been destroyed, a monastery, which is now being restored. As you know, the monastery is not being restored with Turkish money, but with money given by various people.”