An Encyclical was issued by Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden urging the clergy and the faithful to observe the restriction measures for the protection against COVID-19 that are in force from today in Sweden.
In his Encyclical the Metropolitan of Sweden said: “Our local Church, from the appearance of the pandemic until now, fully supports the decisions of the competent state officials regarding the taking of the necessary measures for the protection of public health”.
He also stressed that: “For this reason, you personally, as well as the members of your parish councils and the volunteers who contribute to the work of our local Church and its parishes, must apply with absolute accuracy and care the measures”.
Find below the Encyclical of Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden:
Instructions to the Clergy & the Faithful of the Holy Metropolis of Sweden
Stockholm, January 11, 2022
Dear Brethren in Christ and Fathers,
As the coronavirus pandemic still exists, torments, and subverts the day-to-day life so far, I contact you on the occasion of the new Swedish State legislation, as of January 12, 2022.
Our local Church, from the appearance of the pandemic until now, fully supports the decisions of the competent state officials regarding the taking of the necessary measures for the protection of public health.
For this reason, you personally, as well as the members of your parish councils and the volunteers who contribute to the work of our local Church and its parishes, must apply with absolute accuracy and care what is pointed out below, which concerns our parishes in Sweden.
Clergymen serving our parishes in other Scandinavian countries, please observe the local state special measures in force.
- According to current state law, there should not be more than fifty (50) persons inside the church, including Clergy, Chanters, Parish Council Members, Volunteers, and the faithful (the number includes minors/children).
- Complying with the relevant state recommendation, the Clergy, the Members of the Parish Councils, the volunteers, and the faithful, should wear a face protection mask when entering and staying inside the church, in order to protect “ourselves & others”.
- During the Divine Liturgy or other church services, the Parish Council Members, the volunteers, and the Clergy should verify that you do not all exceed the total number of fifty (50) persons inside the church, otherwise, you will take care of its observance. Ignorance or non-application of it leads to the following measures: a) a fine, b) detention of the Priest and c) closure of the church indefinitely, until the repeal of these restrictive measures, which entails the derailment of our local Church. For all of the above reasons, you need to be very careful and precise.
- The same status, in terms of the number of participants and protection measures, applies, until further notice, for the Holy Sacraments.
- I urge you, for the precise observance of what is mentioned in this encyclical, to consult ahead of time with the Members of your Parish Councils and the volunteers, in order to inform them, but also to avoid misunderstandings on behalf of the faithful.
- I advise you to post on the social media of your parish the present episcopal encyclical.
I wish you all health and good strength in the fulfillment of your clerical duties, during the new year, to you, your families, and the flock of the Mother Church of Constantinople in Scandinavia.
Below is the link where the new measures in force are published:
Prayerfully and brotherly Yours,
+ Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden