Metropolitan Amphilochios of Kissamos and Selino spoke of the recent period when churches were operating without the faithful.
“The painful and traumatic experience we went through recently served as an opportunity for personal reflection, introspection and self-criticism,” he pointed out.
Secular authorities undoubtedly exaggerated and showed a condescending attitude towards the Church. Hierarchs and priests faced criticism, whereas the Mystery of the Eucharist, without which the Church does not exist, was targeted. The Holy Communion is something that is non-negotiable for the Church.
In addition, there were also some clergymen who were envious. More specifically, there were clergymen who rushed to draw their own conclusions, to accuse the Holy and Sacred Synod, and to insult Hierarchs. They came out to comment on the events in public squares and in flea markets aiming at holding sway over the faithful.
This fact clearly does not show spiritual maturity and devotion to pastoral service; rather, they showed inner emptiness and selfish behaviour. Venerable Paisios told a monk who was ostentatiously wearing a vestment full of holes: “Your selfish behaviour and your hypocrisy can be seen through the holes of your vestment.”
“My dear fathers, God will not judge us so harshly if we appear to the world as we are. But He will judge us strictly if we are hypocrites and if we do not have deep reverence,” he added.
“I read somewhere a sad truth that, I hope, is the exception and not the rule. One priest has said: “I have heard so much against bishops and priests in our house that I will never be able to love them. How can I love the Church when my own father lives such a hypocritical life? So beware, my fathers and brothers! Our flock needs, at this time, comforting and consoling homilies. They need our support. This should be our major concern,” he stressed.