The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto released a video of Sunday’s Divine Liturgy on July 5 from the Church of St. Nicholas in Toronto, in which Fr. Fanourios Pappas, obviously overwhelmed, announced to the congregation the new bans imposed by the Canadian government, and that he can no longer offer the Holy Communion to the faithful, refering to the persecution of the Church.
Specifically, the relevant excerpt from f. Fanourios’s speech is as follows:
“It simply came to our notice then. Last night, we were told by our Archdiocese that the City of Toronto forbade the Holy Communion. It seems that the persecution of the Church continues.”
“I have no words to express my disappointment and my sadness. I feel that I cannot share with you today any sermon because I feel that I cannot talk about faith, about Christ. I feel that at this moment I will only want to ask from God to forgive us, to forgive our little faith, to forgive our weakness, to forgive us because we are not worthy to keep the great blessing of the Orthodox faith,” Fr. Fanourios underlined.
In closing, Fr. Fanourios stressed in Greek: “So, today no one will receive the Holy Communion, until further notice.”
It is recalled that in his announcement a few weeks ago, Archbishop Sotirios of Canada had said that he would make no comments on the Holy Communion without first obtaining instructions from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and called on the clergy to avoid making public statements on the subject, saying “Some, it appears, would like to boast of their theological (professorial) knowledge. They should consider, however, that the first thing to know is not to speak without the direction of the Church.”
As pointed out, some clergymen expressed their uneasiness during the COVID-19 pandemic because the Archbishop had not given any instruction on the reopening of the churches and the distribution of the Holy Communion.