ATHENS – “Everyone will enter the churches with a mask” during the holidays, the spokesman of the Holy Synod of Greece emphasizes. His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Ilion, Acharnes and Petroupolis, spokesman for the Holy Synod, clarified that there is no dogmatic issue involved in the disposable spoon for Holy Communion, speaking to radio station Thema 104.6. Answering a related question about the way Holy Communion is distributed in the United States, where a disposable spoon is used for safety reasons, the Metropolitan emphasized that “it is a longstanding custom but can be changed with the agreement of the Orthodox Church.”
At the same time, he emphasized that on the days of the holidays when the churches will be open and three services will be held, all will be done within strict health protocols. “Everyone will enter the Churches with a mask,” he said, adding that there will be observers inside the churches so that they do not exceed the allowed number, but also outside so that the congregation is not violating social distancing. “The Church must show that it can adapt to the circumstances,” he added.
The reactions that are observed, as well as the discomfort in some cases, are according to him due to the extension of the measures, complicating the mental state of some people. In fact, as he said, the priests are also receiving special pressure from the faithful for the opening of the Churches. Regarding the vaccine, the Church had asked the Bioethics committee for a text with its positions. He explained that the specific committee consists of doctors and is chaired by the Metropolitan of Mesogaia. Since in the end there was no conclusion in the text, the priests have agreed to follow a specific line, referring the faithful to their doctors who are already aware of their state of health.