Athens, March 2, 2018
Newly-appointed Greek government officials were sworn into office at the presidential mansion in Athens yesterday without the presence of any representative of the Greek Orthodox Church. This is the first time this has happened since the founding of the Hellenic State in 1941, reports Romfea.
The Holy Gospel remained on the shelf as the new ministers and deputy ministers took a civilian oath of office in the presence of President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
The decision to take a purely political oath, without any Church representation, is another sign of the “frozen” relations between the Greek Church and state, vimaorthodoxias.gr writes. “The selection of new people who seem to have no relationship with the Church causes an additional ‘numbness’” on top of all the existing disputes between the Church and government, especially on matters of education and sexuality.
Stalwart hierarchs, clergy, monastics, and laity of the Greek Church often sound the alarm about the misguided direction of the Greek government, and often calling out the atheist Prime Minister Tsipras in particular.