“We have to face an undeclared war and an invisible enemy at the same time,” said Metropolitan Damaskinos of Didymoteicho, Orestiada and Soufli in an interview with Arxon.gr regarding the situation prevailing at the Greece-Turkey border and the coronavirus pandemic that has brought life in Greece to a standstill.
“Since February 28, waves of illegal immigration, encouraged by the authorities of our neighboring country with specific expediencies, want to breach our land and coastal borders, using molotov cocktails, tear gas and other materials provided by the Turkish authorities. There is a pressure from time to time, an undeclared war, that uses human beings as a weapon.”
Regarding the government’s decision to suspend Divine Liturgies because of the coronavirus, Metropolitan of Didymoteicho emphasized that due to the current situation and the gravity of the events the faithful themselves were afraid to move outside their home and, therefore, they stay home.
In any case, he noted that the churches were open and the faithful could come to pray individually, as provided for by the Government Gazette. He added, “According to the joint ministerial decision, no religious service takes place at no place of worship, neither in the Armenian Church nor in the mosques.”
“The Christian must receive such supplies as the Body and Blood of Christ, the Unction, the Holy Water, the Confession, the Mysteries of our Church. Of course, our people are deprived of them, but I believe that we have no right to cause any of our fellow human beings to die. On the one hand, we have problems of conscience and the spiritual need to participate in the Mysteries of our Church; on the other hand, we wonder whether we are entitled to cause a person to become ill or die. This is a tough call,” he said.
Concluding, Metropolitan Damaskinos of Didymoteicho pointed out, “This situation is a punishment because we have deviated from the path of God with our sins and we must endure. We are free besieged because we are spiritually free, but besieged by a visible or invisible enemy.”