Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece sent a letter to the Minister of Education, Niki Kerameus, asking her to allow the clergy to normally perform the Divine Liturgy and the religious services behind closed doors.
“This will greatly facilitate the sacred mission of the Church, which has the obligation to ask and pray for the health of that prudent flock, and will also play a decisive role in keeping the laity calm,” Archbishop Ieronymos wrote in his letter. Moreover, the Archbishop made special mention of the temples located in the country’s hospitals that also remain “silent”.
In the letter, the Church of Greece, through the Archbishop, requests authorization to perform the Divine Liturgy at the monasteries where people live anyway in a communal way.
He also highlighted that the funerals must be allowed to be held in temples outside cemeteries as in many parts of the country cemeteries do not have temples.
Reference is also made to the online broadcast of liturgies.
“Issue permissions for individual prayer”
In a second letter, signed by the Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod, Bishop of Filotheos of Oreoi, the Holy Synod asked the Secretary-General for Religious Affairs, Georgios Kalantzis, to include “individual prayer” in the reasons for movement outside the house, as prescribed in the joint ministerial decision issued by the ministers of Education and of Health. Reference is also made to those who wish to visit the graves of their beloved ones at the cemetery.
It is noteworthy that, as it is evident in the date of the Archbishop’s letter, that is, March 19, the Church of Greece has been making efforts from the very beginning by addressing the highest authorities in order to resolve issues concerning the religious life of the Greeks, but this effort has not been made public making much space to many self-proclaimed saviors.