ATHENS – Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece held a meeting with the new Minister of Education Niki Kerameus during which they discussed the need for cooperation and the safeguarding of the existing wage rights of the clergy. Also present at the meeting was Georgios Kalantzis, Secretary General for Religious Affairs.
Bishop Symeon of Thespies, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Athens, welcomed the Education Minister at the Archdiocese and led her to the Archbishop’s office. Archbishop Ieronymos extended a cordial welcome to Niki Kerameus to the Archdiocese. He made reference to the recent meeting he had with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and talked about the need for cooperation.
Niki Kerameus expressed her delight at the meeting and said that “today is the real start of our cooperation. There is good will on the part of the State to build a new fruitful and constructive cooperation placed on an honest footing.”
Kerameus also said that “the government’s intention is the resumption of dialogue to discuss all issues between the State and the Church, always respecting the distinct roles.”
The Archbishop said that the dialogue committee had been successful in the past in dealing with various issues and “we have to activate it again and upgrade it, if necessary, because the committee is ahead of many things that are often simple.”
Minister Kerameus replied that “the relationship would be face-to-face without anyone acting as intermediary. She added that “the government’s aim is to safeguard the existing wage, insurance and pension rights of the clerics.”
In an interview with the radio station of ANA-MPA “104.9 FM Agency” the Minister said that “a new cooperation starts from scratch on the basis of a sincere relationship and with respect for the distinct roles of the State and the Church.”
It should be noted that at the meeting of Archbishop Ieronymos with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the atmosphere was also positive and the Prime Minister had stated, “Your Beatitude I am very pleased to welcome you to the Maximos Mansion, and I am very pleased to meet you. I look forward to a very effective cooperation with you. There are many issues that we must address, but always in good faith, with good disposition and respecting the constitutional imperatives of Articles 3 and 13 of the Constitution, for which, I have already informed you, there will be no change in the Constitutional Review.”