Greeks in Toronto report their own churches again, Metropolitan Sotirios reveals

The problem is yours,” the official said. “You are the ones who are divided. Your people are making the complaints.”

Toronto, July 16, 2020

Photo: Photo:     

On Sunday, July 5, the Greek Archdiocese of Canada announced a ban on Holy Communion in Toronto, following the city’s requirements that were based on the recommendation of the Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario.

It then became known that the Archdiocese’s decision was instigated by a local Greek organization known as the Greek Community of Toronto and local parishioners, who threatened to hold the Church liable for not following city guidelines.

Then, on Sunday, July 12, priests announced that they could commune the people with multiple single-use spoons, which was met by a strong negative reaction in some parishes.

On Tuesday, Metropolitan Sotirios of Toronto learned that Greek parishioners had reported their own parishes to government authorities again. If the situation continues, severe fines may be imposed and the churches may have to be closed again, the Metropolitan writes in “Coronavirus and Holy Communion: A Chronicle of Events,” published on the diocesan website.

Met. Sotirios begins by recalling that the churches were closed on March 17, 2020 by government order, and reopened on June 12. From June 12 to July 3, Holy Communion was served normally, “until one or more persons complained to the government authorities” that the Greek churches were using a common spoon “and that this practice would create serious health problems.”

Following this complaint, Met. Sotirios met with a group of priests and it was decided that on Sunday, July 5, the faithful were not to be communed during the Divine Liturgy. He then spoke with other religious leaders who affirmed that they were still giving Communion to the faithful, though with changes to how it was being dispensed.

Then, in an agreement with government authorities, it was decided that Holy Communion would be given in the Greek Churches with one spoon per communicant. “Most communities accepted these measures without serious reaction,” Met. Sotirios writes, though some “reacted and shouted” during the Liturgy.

Some Orthodox are now threatening to hold a rally outside the Archdiocese next Sunday, Met. Sotirios reports. Some of them are said to be followers of Elder Ephraim, though, “I cannot believe this, because Fr. Ephraim was peaceful and always cooperated with our Holy Archdiocese,” the Metropolitan states.

On Tuesday, Met. Sotirios received a call from the relevant government authorities concerning two churches that reportedly communed all the faithful with a single spoon. If this situation continues, “measures will be taken for all Greek Orthodox churches, fines will be imposed (fines reach up to ten millions $ 10,000,000 for organizations) and they may go as far as to close our churches again,” the Metropolitan writes.

Further, the government rep emphasized that they do not police churches, but only investigate when a report of violations comes in.

“The problem is yours,” the official said. “You are the ones who are divided. Your people are making the complaints.”

“You understand how sad this is,” Met. Sotirios writes. He assured the government official that separate spoons will be used from now on, until the end of the pandemic.

Regarding the shouts of “Sotirios of unworthy” that were heard in the video published by Romfea, Met. Sotirios responds that he is not sinless, but that he is suffering due to this situation. Must people always “throw stones” at the Archbishop, he wonders.

As for the rally planned at the Archdiocese on Sunday, it risks “presenting ourselves to all others as self-destructive, so willingly ready to inflict harm on each other,” and will only harm “Orthodoxy and Hellenism,” the Greek hierarch writes. It would be better to organize a meeting with the Metropolitan than to hold a rally, Met. Sotirios believes.

“I pray and I ask you to pray also that God helps us recover from this grave affliction of Covid-19. To restore peace to the world. To live peacefully as one Christian family, as befits true Christians,” Met. Sotirios concludes.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Vkontakte, and Telegram!


A Greek of Constantinople.7/20/2020 10:15 am
A reminder from experience. Just because someone speaks Greek does not make that person a Greek. Though there is a possibility that those calling authorities are Orthodox, there is a higher probability that these individuals are not Orthodox. They can be Greeks who are anything from atheists, heretics, freemasons, members of an other religion, a cult and even pagans.. Which makes them anything from not exactly Greek to not Greek at all. I come from a small place and even I can tell you that there are freemasons who attend Church every Sunday. It's a common secret. The only way to settle this is for the Church to demand the authorities to reveal who is filling these complaints. I don't know about Canada, but the laws allow it in Greece. Then you can take it from there.
Βασίλειος Λιάκος7/17/2020 7:22 pm
Προφάσεις εν αμαρτίαις του αναξίου Σωτηρίου!Πειθαρχείν δή Θεώ μάλλον ή ανθρώποις!
Gary7/17/2020 1:29 pm
This is sad. Orthodox Christians turning on the Church. Kinda makes me think of Isaiah 5:20.
karekla7/17/2020 4:49 am
Antiochene Son: Not only are you correct, but if you dont like it, simply don't go to church! Why report your church. That is sad.
Matthew7/17/2020 3:41 am
"A man's enemies will be those of his own household." Matt 10:36
Nicholas7/16/2020 9:33 pm
We published a different view on this situation: And we would ask that everyone help with an email campaign to truly find out what is going on:
Alexei7/16/2020 7:55 pm
To Antiochene Son, though I am not 100% positive that they can be excommunicated by calling the police, it is quite possible they can because they have gone outside the boundaries of lodging a complaint about their Bishop/priest. I do recall that if a person of the Orthodox Church files a complaint against the Bishop/priest to secular authorities, in this case the City of Toronto, then they are barred by Canon Law from filing a complaint against their Bishop/priest in the Ecclesiastical Court. Please forgive me if I have this not quite right as I am trying to recall this from memory. If one has a complaint against their priest, one must talk to the priest first. If not resolved, than to that priest's Bishop. If still not resolved, then to the Arch Bishop If still not resolved, then to the Metropolitan If still not resolved, then to the Patriarch. If one goes to the secular authorities first, than the matter cannot be brought up in the church, forever. Note; If one brings charges against a Priest and the Priest is found guilty, then the Priest is subjected to punishment. However, if the Priest is found to be innocent, than the punishment that would be applied to the priest is applied to the person who brought the charges. For the purpose of example only; The Priest is guilty-punishment is excommunication The priest is innocent- punishment is excommunication on the person who brought the charges The people who are filing complaints and shouting unworthy should be informed about these rules.
Anne7/16/2020 5:44 pm
What part of the words “Holy Gifts” do these so-called Orthodox Christians snitching on their own priest not understand? The clue is in the word “Holy.” Do not dishonour the sacred Body and Blood of Christ by insisting on throw away spoons! What a mockery they make of the Lord’s wondrous gift of Himself. How can any disease be present in the Chalice or on the spoon?! Better to stay away from Holy Communion altogether, than to take it without faith.
Silouan7/16/2020 5:39 pm
St. Paul to the Phillipians.
Antiochene Son7/16/2020 3:10 pm
People who call the police on their priest this way should be excommunicated.
Here you can leave your comment on the present article, not exceeding 4000 characters. All comments will be read by the editors of OrthoChristian.Com.
Enter through FaceBook
Your name:
Your e-mail:
Enter the digits, seen on picture:

Characters remaining: 4000

to our mailing list

* indicates required