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Greek Church Says Can’t, Won’t Enforce COVID-19 Restrictions

November 23, 2021

ATHENS – The Greek Church’s governing body The Holy Synod said it doesn’t have the resources to enforce COVID-19 health restrictions in churches although it supports the measures aimed at slowing the pandemic.

While the unvaccinated have been barred from most gathering spots people can go to church if they present a negative test but Church officials said they can’t check for them, said Kathimerini.

“(Workers or volunteer staff) have neither capabilities, guard authority, nor public [e.g. police] powers,” the Synod statement said, while reiterating its support for “the great effort on the part of our doctors and nurses to deal with the pandemic” and urging “everyone to get vaccinated.”

“The firm position of our Church is that the choice of vaccination is not a matter of good faith or confession, but an object of medical science and an act of individual and social responsibility,” it stressed.

Despite that, a number of clerics are both refusing to be vaccinated and urging churchgoers to do the same and to disobey requirements to wear masks and to stay safe social distances, splitting the church and hierarchy.

The Synod said while it supports the New Democracy government’s efforts to battle the resurging pandemic that it doesn’t have the ability or authority to monitor churchgoers and won’t.

“Any opposing view, even of the clergy, does not represent the Church of Greece, which is officially governed and expressed only by the Holy Synod,” the statement also added.

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