Crete priest gets 9 months behind bars for violating face mask directive

Rethymno, Crete, September 24, 2020

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A priest in Crete was sentenced to 9 months in prison with a 3-year suspension last Friday for inciting disobedience against the National Public Health Organization’s directive on the mandatory use of face masks, which includes the use of masks in all closed spaces and schools.

The incident with the 47-year-old priest occurred last Monday, September 14, during the blessing ceremony of a local kindergarten. Video shows the priest emphatically telling parents that “they will destroy their children” if they send them to school in masks, and criticized them for not holding a rally in protest of masks, reports Keep Talking Greece.

Parents objected that a school is not the place for a sermon, and the priest responded calling them left-wingers who rally in favor of homosexuals and others, but not against masks.

The priest was arrested the next day and had his day in court that Friday. During his trial, he refused to wear a mask, refused to apologize, and told judges he would sue them for wrongdoing.

Following the trial, the priest told the local media that it was not him who was tried, but the truth, the law, and God. He plans to appeal his sentence.

The Diocese of Rethymno and Avlopotamos has issued a statement, saying the priest’s views are in no way representative of that of the diocese. In an interview about the pandemic in March, Metropolitan Eugenios of Rethymno emphasized the need to remain united throughout the pandemic and criticized those who engage in conspiracy theories about the pandemic.

A priest on the island of Kalymnos was arrested in August after calling on parishioners not to wear masks on the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos. He awaits trial on October 8.

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Evangelos Karavaras 10/2/2020 10:34 pm
Good for the priest! A priest that doesn't get intimidated by the so called Experts. That have been wrong most of the time. Even the manufacturers of the masks have a disclaimer that it will not prevent you from catching COVID-19. Reason being they do not want to be liable when people due contract it while it's supposed to protect them. Think on that for a while. Anyone who says the priest deserves prison. Shame on them. Obviously it's there hatred for people who do not want to be dictated to! In my opinion this is all about control! And shame on the Orthodox Church for not standing by one of its own priests. This is my opinion. Lord Jesus Christ, Son Of God, Have Mercy On Me A Sinner!
Anne9/29/2020 8:31 pm
What a wonderful, brave priest. He deserves a medal, not jail. Putting children in masks is child abuse. God bless this priest, and may many more have the guts to make a stand against governments imposing their will on populations and destroying economies for the sake of a virus that kills 0.01% of people. Look at the official statistics - it’s all there in plain sight.
Eddie9/28/2020 6:30 am
Good! Make it a year! He violated the civil law and disobeyed his ruling Bishop. This is a very serious plague. Conspiracy theorists and tinfoil experts are dangerous. I have no pity for this prideful, self-willed, clergyman. None.
S Wsevolodovna 9/25/2020 5:23 pm
According to Greek articles his name is Father Emmanuel, his last name is not given.
Zoran9/25/2020 4:42 pm
Please, provide priest's name, as I am not the only one who wants to pray for him. НА МНОГАЈА ЉЕТА, ОЧЕ!
cmo9/25/2020 11:27 am
Yes, my thoughts exactly, I would gladly donate so that his family has no problems in this period and also that the legal fees are taken care of .
Herman9/24/2020 4:57 pm
Editors: What's the name of the priest? We should be praying for him and supporting him. Numerous articles about this have appeared on the internet, and they all fail to give his name. Glory to God for the courage of this priest, and his refusal to back down to the insanity of the "authorities" that would dare to imprison a priest for such a stupid reason.
Joan Canning9/24/2020 4:39 pm
The diocese should be ashamed for its acquiesence to the beast system. Blessed strength to this priest.
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