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Society

Greek Archbishop, Bending to COVID-19, Masks Up for Holy Synod

August 26, 2020

ATHENS – While some clerics said they would defer regulations that masks must be worn in churches to slow a second rise of COVID-19, the head of the Church of Greece, Archbishop Ieronymos, wore one and took a fever test before a Holy Synod meeting.

Photographs of him wearing his mask and taking a temperature test to his forehead were published by the Vima Orthodoxias religious website, seen as his message to clerics and churchgoers they should do the same instead of resisting health measures.

Under the regulations, clerics and members of the public are obliged to wear a mask during all indoor assemblies and when physical distancing of at least 1.5 meters (4.92 feet) apart can't be done outdoors but both are being defied, if less frequently as the number of cases has soared in August, reaching almost 9,000 by Aug. 26.

A handful of priests and faithful have resisted the rules, leading to fears of localized outbreaks, said Kathimerini, and the Archbishop agreeing to the measures came after the Church early in the pandemic said that it wanted to still give Holy Communion, arguing that it was safe, before pulling back.

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