Six Priests on Lesbos Suspended for Refusing COVID-19 Shots

February 17, 2022

ATHENS – After the Greek Church vowed that anti-vaxxer priests would have to be vaccinated or face consequences, six clerics on the island of Lesbos who refused to get COVID-19 shots were put on forced administrative leave.

The decision was made by Metropolitan Bishop Iakovos, who ruled they will lose their ecclesiastical status and responsibilities until they agree to get vaccinated, citing health measures. They will be paid while suspended though.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has backed away from a pledge to require mandatory shots to slow the pandemic and only health care workers and those over 60 must be vaccinated or face penalties.

The Bishop held a meeteing with the unvaccinated priests on the island, who were briefed by medical experts about the need to take the shots to protect themselves and others, including churchgoers, but they wouldn’t listen.

Citing sources not named, Kathimerini said there were about 30 priests who refused to get the shots either because of health fears or because it goes against their personal beliefs, neither reason acceptable to the Church.



ATHENS - Expecting another record year in tourism to surpass the numbers in 2023 in arrivals and revenues, Greece’s infrastructure - particularly on overwhelmed islands - isn’t adequate to deal with the demands even as more resorts keep opening.

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