Corfu, Greece, May 22, 2020
An un-Orthodox mentality has been cultivated in Greece over the course of many years, His Eminence Metropolitan Nektarios of Corfu believes, as evidenced by the belief expressed by politicians and others that partaking of Holy Communion could be dangerous to one’s health.
God gave man science, but it cannot take precedence over the faith, the hierarch said after Vespers for the feast of Sts. Constantine and Helen on Wednesday, May 20, reports Romfea.
Conversely, when the rulers of the people rely on the Christ’s victory on the Cross, then God blesses them. With the Edict of Milan, St. Constantine ended the persecution of Christians. “Those who kept God’s word were blessed,” he said, while “those who apostatized did not last long. God is slow, but He does not forget. He punishes those who have rebelled against Him,” Met. Nektarios preached.
“God is the God of love, but also of justice. This is His covenant with the people,” he added.
In the Metropolitan’s view, this historical occurrence is analogous to what is happening today.
“The criminalization of the Sacrament of Holy Communion, the notion that ‘Christ is dangerous to human health,’ the questioning of God’s power and the advancement of science, which God has given us, but we cannot have it above the power of God—these are signs of the mentality that has been cultivated for years in our homeland,” the hierarch lamented.
He noted that there is, on the one hand, a perception that the Church is outdated, while on the other hand, people expect the Church to help them with their material needs.
The right to religious worship and expression was restricted, and “people who want life and hope and joy from Divine Communion were insulted and dragged into the courts.”
Met. Nektarios himself faced legal troubles after celebrating the Divine Liturgy and communing those present on the feast of Palm Sunday. Following an “incident” in Athens, a priest was under investigation for communing a few children out the back door of his church.
In early April, more than 100 people were fined for going to church in two separate incidents in Greece.