Holy Synod of Church of Greece convenes in Athens, first session since cathedrals reopened for worshipers
Members of the Holy Synod of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Greece met in Athens on Tuesday, for the first time since places of worship in the east Mediterranean country were reopened for services with the presence of worship – and after two months of enduring a coronvirus-related lockdown.
Church hierarchs were briefed and discussed an epistle sent by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, His All Holiness Bartholomew I, regarding a common course and coordination by Orthodox Churches in the face of continued attacks, often bordering on the blasphemous, against the Church and the Holy Communion.
Orthodoxy and its ancient and junior Churches have been steadfast in underlining that the Holy Eucharist is not, and cannot, be a source of transmission of diseases, pointing directly to nearly 2,000 years of ecclesiastical tradition and histo-RI-city.
Hierarchs of the Holy Synod also discussed public health measures that will apply to churches and cathedrals after a current ministerial decision on public assembly expires on Friday.
In a related development, Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos arrived at the Holy Synod chamber on Tuesday morning to attend a ceremony of acceptance for a donation of equipment, purchased by the Church of Greece, for the country’s armed forces – and specifically night vision surveillance cameras and goggles to be used in the northeast Evros border region.
Greek border guards, police and even armed forces personnel blocked the mass entry of tens of thousands of third country nationals that attempted to illegally cross and enter the country in late February and early March, after Turkish leaders said they would essentially «open the country’s borders» to undocumented migrants trying to reach preferred destinations in central and western Europe. This «open borders» policy, however, was only applied to the frontier with Greece. The attempt, dubbed a «weaponization of migrants» by Athens and other European allies, failed.