The Standing Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, of the 163rd Synodic Period, will meet on Thursday, April 30, 2020. The Holy Synod will deal with the issues on the agenda.
The opening of the churches is expected to be in the spotlight. It is recalled that the government’s plan is to open churches for individual prayer at first, while the places of worship will be opened to the congregation with specific protection rules and measures at a later stage.
According to the statements of the government spokesman, “it is clear that all this time the Church has a responsible attitude and has taken responsibility by making tough decisions. The faithful followed the advice of both the church and the state and, fortunately, we have done extremely well so far in this as well.
Upon the lifting of restrictive measures, the faithful will be allowed to go to the church of individual worship, but the issue of the presence of the congregation during the religious services will be possible at a later stage, hopefully not too far away.
This is an issue that will be discussed with the Church of Greece. I would like to say that Archbishop Ieronymos himself in his letter to the prime minister put foreword some proposals within a specific framework within which it the presence of the congregation at the religious services will be possible with specific rules and conditions”.
Besides, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens sent a letter to Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis in which he requests the immediate opening of churches.
According to the letter, which was written after the decision taken by the Metropolitans of the Holy Synod, the Hierarchs request the opening of churches for the faithful in compliance with the social distancing measures.
Regarding the letter, the Spokesman of the Standing Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, Metropolitan Ierotheos of Nafpaktos, said that the Archbishop of Athens congratulated the prime minister, wished him Happy Easter, then referred to the efforts made by the Church, the internal and external difficulties notwithstanding, and concluded that he wanted the temples to be open and put forward some suggestions.
“We made great sacrifices. The vast majority of priests complied with the measures. So when there are different scenarios for opening the hair salons and shops, how is it possible that the Church is excluded?
Regarding the terms proposed by Archbishop Ieronymos to the prime minister for the opening of the churches, he said the following, stating that additional decisions will be made at the meeting of the Holy Synod.