On the occasion of the extension of the restrictive measures that also extend to the Church, as well as of the forthcoming session of the Standing Holy Synod to be held with a teleconference on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos spoke to ethnos.gr.
The hierarch strongly criticized anyone who questions Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, and the functioning of the Holy Synod as a constituted ecclesiastical body.
“I believe that the services and the Divine Liturgies should be celebrated during the Holy Week and on Easter Sunday, even if it is behind closed doors, because this period is the ‘heart’ of the ecclesiastical life and no one can offend that ‘heart’. Only those who do not attend church and do not receive the Holy Communion cannot understand this need of the overwhelming majority of the people,” he characteristically states.
He further stresses that he cannot understand why the government is in the process of instituting a kind of “holiday” on the clergy, or determining when or whether to perform a Divine Liturgy, or prohibiting the Divine Liturgy in the Monasteries, which are spiritual families, “in camera”.
He also refers to the rhetoric and practice of some Metropolitans, pointing out that “another kind of coronavirus also hurts me, the so-called ‘ecclesiastical coronavirus’, which offends our clergy and bishops. I notice that some Metropolitans act as if there is no Holy Synod, as if we were an impractical body. They make announcements before the Holy Synod makes a decision, and immediately after the decision of the Synod has been announced, they differ. In a battle, there is common sense and someone manages the evolution of things.
He also declares annoyed by the orchestrated attack on Divine Liturgy and the Holy Communion. He emphasizes that it must be understood that the Divine Liturgy and the Holy Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ constitute the identity of the Church.
Every culture has its value, and the center of every culture is religion. In our homeland the center of our culture is still the Church with all its tradition. This tradition cannot be undermined in order to create a colorless, tasteless, meaningless, without foundations, without tradition, without Divine Liturgy people.