Nicosia, April 29, 2020
The protection of the faithful is of utmost importance, but a return to Church services can be implemented gradually, His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus believes.
The Cypriot primate announced his proposal for the faithful to return to the churches after the gradual lifting of the coronavirus quarantine, reports Romfea.
“The idea is that several believers can attend a service in our churches, but each of them should be at a distance of 10 square meters from the others. Liturgy can be celebrated every day to prevent crowding,” His Beatitude proposed.
Thus, groups of believers could take turns attending the daily services, the Archbishop believes.
“Even if I was told today to open the churches, I wouldn’t do it without a plan,” he said. A group of doctors recently called on the president to immediately reopen the churches, but the Archbishop said they should cease meddling in Church affairs.
The Church and state are in frequent contact, he said. The government has its advisers and will make its own decision, while the Church “will meet the president of Cyprus in order to express its opinion.”
But the Church will not be pressured into reopening too soon, and then being blamed for a new wave of infections, the Archbishop said.
The Archbishop and the president of the republic intend to hold a discussion on the matter of reopening churches.
Earlier, His Eminence Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou of the Cypriot Church compared the closing of churches to the closing of hospitals and said the rights of the faithful were being violated.
Meanwhile, it was announced yesterday that churches in Greece will open for individual prayers on May 4, and the faithful will be allowed to return to the Divine services starting May 17.