After the controversy over the issue of mass gatherings at the churches amid coronavirus fears, the Metropolitan of Alexandroupolis, in his statements on protothema.gr, says, “Anyone who is sick should not come to the church. We cannot despise medication. This is just ridiculous.”
He emphasizes, “The Holy Bible praises the doctors and the meds. The believer who does not feel well can go to the church in the afternoon when the Church is not very crowded and one can light a candle and pray.”
Metropolitan Anthimos of Alexandroupolis clarifies, “We are not going to close the temples. Whosoever can not go to the church, one should avoid doing so. The Metropolitan of Alexandroupolis wonders, “Does one think that one will not catch the virus for merely being faithful? Do the priests not get sick?”.
Regarding the Holy Communion, the Metropolitan says this is another matter. He adds, “The Holy Communion requires faith. There is no magical Holy Communion. Depending on the faith we have, it will cause no harm. But who can measure faith? If you have great faith, you can walk on the waves from Alexandroupolis to Samothrace. But if you haven’t? We must receive the Holy Communion with faith, not as an act of showing off. The sanctification goes to the soul. And if God wants to test us?”.
As Anthimos of Alexandroupolis says, faith is rational and means no lack of seriousness, adding, “I have closed two institutions of the Metropolis in order to protect the elders who live there.”