Greek priest arrested for urging faithful not to wear masks on feast of Dormition

Kalymnos, Greece, August 17, 2020     

A priest on the Greek island of Kalymnos was arrested on Saturday after a citizen made a complaint about the priest’s message on social media calling for the faithful to not wear masks in church on the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos.

The priest was apprehended by police, accused of spreading fake news that endangers public health, according to Greek Reporter.

“No one should wear a mask on the Feast of the Panagia!!! We should not hurt our Lady the Theotokos. Our Mother wants to see our faces. She wants to see our faith!!!! She wants to kiss us. She wants to bless us. We love you, Panagia, and I am sure that we, your children, will give you this joy!!! No one will wear a mask,” the priest wrote:   

The cleric, whose name has not been publicized, appeared before a prosecutor on the island of Kos and was released, with a trial set for October 8.

With fears of a second wave of the pandemic in Greece, all parishioners are currently obliged to wear masks in church, and all religious processions have been banned.

Greek authorities previously opened a criminal case against His Eminence Metropolitan Nektarios of Corfu for violating the ban on holding religious services by celebrating Divine Liturgy for the Great Feast of Palm Sunday, and against Fr. George Schoinas in Athens, who was photographed giving Holy Communion to children in April.

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