During a meeting in Thessaloniki held by the policy initiative “the Circle of ideas for national reconstruction” and the Bar Association of Thessaloniki, former Minister, former leader of PASOK, and Professor of Constitutional Law at the Law School of Aristotle University, Evangelos Venizelos, highlighted the importance of Article 3 of the Constitution for the status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
He said that, especially after 1975, Article 3 protected the legal status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and therefore without any constitutional protection it would not have the right to lodge an application for international protection.
Evangelos Venizelos also spoke of the efforts made since 1995 in order to find a solution to the institutional issues regarding the Church-State relations. However, only several topics were discussed on the issue due to reactions from the Church and some politicians.
Another Professor of Constitutional Law at the Law School at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Ioannis Konidaris, spoke of the development of the provisions concerning Church-State relations. He said that the Constitution of 1844 stated that the Church of Greece was autocephalous, which was non-canonical. He said that at the time, the matter of the autocephaly was not solved because the Tomos of 1850 was not issued.
He added that the second provision of 1975 was aimed at normalising the relations between the Church of Greece and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In addition, he spoke of the way the legal and constitutional framework was created throughout history. In particular, he spoke of the provisions that were serving the interests of some at the time and the efforts made in order to find a balance between the Church-State relations.