In a statement, Archbishop Eirinaios of Crete expressed the regret and discomfort of the Church of Crete over the decision to drop the plan to reintroduce the provisions of the Penal Code for the crimes of malicious blasphemy and religious insult.
Archbishop Eirinaios expressed his regret at scrapping the plans to criminalise blasphemy and stated that he expected that those provisions would be reinstated and that no contrary views would prevail, no matter how much we respected them.
Read the statement of Archbishop Eirinaios of Crete:
The Holy Archdiocese of Crete has been informed with satisfaction that the crimes of malicious blasphemy and religious insult, which had been unjustifiably recently abolished, would be reintroduced in the Penal Code under review.
However, we noted with great regret and surprise that this socially beneficial institutional restoration was aborted due to reactions from various bodies and persons.
I feel the need, with feelings of love and truth, to address every competent but good-willed person, regardless of religion or belief, to demand that the above criminal provisions should be reintroduced, which will contribute to the safeguarding and protection of religious peace, reconciliation, and social cohesion.
Since there has been misinformation about the purpose of these provisions, we would like to reiterate that they do not seek to protect God and the Divine, since they obviously do not need judicial protection, nor do they concern the Orthodox Church, but protect every religion. In this way, these provisions are intended to deter religious fundamentalism and intolerance as well as to promote social peace and cohesion.
A sober and true approach the content of these provisions, far from being biased, will demonstrate their general social necessity and respect for the beliefs and values of not only every Orthodox Christian but also of every person of any religion. We expect that these provisions will be reinstated and that no contrary views will prevail, no matter how much we respected them.