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The Holy Synod is the Proper Body to Decide on the Church-State Relations

February 27, 2019

ATHENS – The proposed Agreement between the Greek State and the Church of Greece was discussed at the Church’s Synodal Palace during a recent meeting of representatives of the State and the Holy Synod presided by the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs Kostas Gavroglou.

A communique issued by the Special Committee for the study of those issues declared that the Holy Synod of the Hierarchy is the proper body for making the appropriate decisions regarding the issues of Church and State.

The communique noted that the proposed agreement “was submitted to our Committee during the previous meeting on February 12 at the Ministry of Education…In the Committee, we were, essentially, guided by the decision taken by the Hierarchy on 16th November 2018, which delineated our work, while we took into consideration both the Joint Communique of the Delegations and that of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Greece under the supervision of Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and all Greece…The Joint Communique showed that the two Churches coincided both on the proposals for revision of the Constitution and on the preservation of the current payment method of the Orthodox clergy.”

Regarding the position of the Association of Clergy of Greece, the Special Committee stated that, “We informed the State Commission that we would send a document to the Permanent Holy Synod, with which our Commission will outline its views on the proposals and will brief about its work to date, because the proposed agreement provides for a change in payment regime, which goes beyond the mandate given to our Commission by the Holy Synod of the Hierarchy. Therefore, the Holy Synod of the Hierarchy is the only competent body to take appropriate decisions.”

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