Corfu, Greece, October 22, 2020
His Eminence Metropolitan Nektarios of Corfu of the Greek Orthodox Church has been acquitted of all charges brought against him regarding alleged violations of the COVID-19 quarantine restrictions.
His trial began on Monday, and early yesterday he was acquitted of misdemeanor charges connected with his homily on the feast of the Annunciation, March 25, in which he encouraged the faithful to continue going to church and receiving Holy Communion despite the pandemic situation.
His trial continued yesterday on the second misdemeanor charge of violating quarantine when he celebrated the Divine Liturgy and communed about 20 people on the feast of Palm Sunday, April 12, and held a procession with the relics of St. Spyridon inside the church.
Following yesterday’s session, it was announced that His Eminence was found not guilty of the second charge as well, reports the Orthodoxia News Agency.
“Today, the Church was vindicated. Corfu was vindicated,” Met. Nektarios emphasized.
His defense was based on Article 33 of the penal code, which gives serious weight to the issue of conflict of duties—in His Eminence’s case, his duties as a hierarch of the Orthodox Church and his duties as a Greek citizen. His lawyers argued the case for a “morally forgivable error,” when the perpetrator was driven to certain acts by his inner morality and when that morality is compatible with social morality.
After the successful conclusion of his trial, the hierarch immediately went to venerate the relics of St. Spyridon, thanking the saint with tears in his eyes as the bells of the church rang out joyfully.