Extraordinary Church of Greece Holy Synod session in wake of extension of restrictions on places of worship, due to Covid-19
The Holy Synod of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Greece will convene in an extraordinary session this week, as the announcement was made a day after the Greek government ordered an extension of a restriction on the holding of services and rites at all places of worship in the country until April 11- part of a lockdown against non-essential movement in public.
The new restriction extends to the Saturday of Lazarus.
Churches across the predominately Christian Orthodox nation of 11 million remained closed on Sunday, except for a handful of cathedrals where the Divine Liturgy and other service were broadcast over the Internet and radio-television, celebrated without the presence of worshippers.
In keeping with precautions and guidelines issued by public health authorities, members of the Holy Synod will convene via a teleconference.
In a related development, a timely article is posted today on the pages of the Orthodoxia news agency, dealing with a veritable «war» being waged by some quarters against the partaking of Holy Communion by the faithful.
The article details some of the more malicious media reports against the sacrament of the Holy Communion, many of which insult clerics continuing to offer the Holy Eucharist, while insinuating and regurgitating slanders by which the Holy Communion is a source for the transmission of diseases.
At the same time, several top ministers over recent days said the easing of restrictions on non-essential movement will be considered for May, essentially writing-off the prospect of a let-up in April.
According to reports, the next public awareness campaign by the Greek state, aimed to reduce exposure to the Covid-19 pandemic, will be entitled «Easter at Home».
Holy and Great Easter Sunday this year falls on April 19.
In a high-profile statement over the weekend, Developoment Minister Adonis Georgiadis predicted that there would not be an «Easter Exodus» this year, during the preceding Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday – which annually sees hundreds of thousands of urban dwellers in the east Mediterranean country leaving for the provinces and islands.