ATHENS – Despite tension over whether Holy Communion is safe, the Church of Greece has accepted a second lockdown aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 but Bishops are said to be resisting the measures.
There's tension in the Holy Synod over the tightened health measures with a number of the rebellious clerics accusing Archbishop Ieronymos and the hierarchy of being “too mild,” in its response, said Kathimerini.
The Bishops of Mesogeia and Kalavryta are among those who don't want the Church to follow the protocols, accusing the government of “policing worship” and saying that “closed churches are a threat to the faithful.”
That's contrary to the position adopted by Archbishop Ieronymos – recently released from hospital after battling COVID019, who said he wants a “cautious reopening” of churches and strict adherence to public health rules.
The second lockdown began Nov. 7 and was supposed to lift Dec. 1 but was pushed back to Dec. 7 and now to Dec. 14 because it hasn't worked, being less restrictive than a first closing in the spring for 10 weeks of non-essential businesses.
Many people still don't wear masks or stay a safe social distance although most are following the lockdown rules that allow them to be out for permissible missions such as going to supermarkets, banks, pharmacies, for exercise or walking a pet, which has seen the number of cases rise.
Some in the Church said that Holy Communion is safe and those who partake of sipping from the same spoon wouldn't catch the Coronavirus because the ceremony brings them “eternal life.”