The Church of Greece today expressed agreement with the Ecumenical Patriarch on the recent controversy over the Holy Communion due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
In response to Bartholomew’s letter of June 17, the Standing Holy Synod states that “the Church of Greece insists on its dogmatic and theological affirmation that the Holy Mystery of Eucharist is non-negotiable as it has been handed down to by the Holy Fathers of our Holy Church and in accordance with the Orthodox Tradition.”
Regarding the distribution of the Holy Communion, the Standing Holy Synod clarifies that it “remains as it is and as it has been handed down to us by the Holy Fathers and in accordance with our Holy Tradition.”
The Church of Cyprus has also given a positive reply to the Ecumenical Patriarchate regarding the Holy Communion
“We cooperate and join together in prayer and conscience,” wrote Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus, in his reply to the letter sent by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, regarding the need for coordination on the Holy Communion.
According to information from the website aviketos.com, Archbishop Chrysostomos, in his reply to the letter, referred to the decisions made by Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, which was convened on Crete in 2016, saying that “the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church is a divine-human communion in the image of the Holy Trinity, a foretaste and experience of the eschaton in the holy Eucharist.”
The Archbishop informed the Ecumenical Patriarch that, during the consultation with the health authorities of Cyprus, the recommendation to use an individual plastic spoon during the distribution of the Holy Eucharist was taken into account.
He also informed the Ecumenical Patriarch that his position had finally been respected that the Orthodox Church would not for any reason whatsoever discuss or negotiate the change of the traditional way of distributing Holy Communion to the faithful with a silver spoon “because he believes that he is offering the Body and Blood of Christ for the eternal life to her Christian flock.”
Finally, the Archbishop of Cyprus wished the Ecumenical Patriarch “to be strong with the power of the Holy Spirit and with the legal and patriotic orders, immobile and unshakable.”
Information from the Phanar indicate that the Orthodox primates of the other Churches also replied that they agreed with the traditional way of distributing the Holy Communion.