Thessaloniki, May 11, 2021
On April 20, the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece unanimously decided that all parishes were to celebrate Pascha several hours early, beginning no later than 9:00 PM on Holy Saturday evening, in order to accommodate the state-ordered curfew.
The move proved controversial. While many welcomed the measure, as it allowed them to celebrate Pascha as opposed to last year, others argued that it is impermissible to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection before Sunday.
At least a handful of priests refused to follow the Synod’s decree and served Pascha at midnight as usual. They now face legal consequences. Greek authorities have opened a case of violating quarantine measures against 6 priests from Thessaloniki, reports Vima Orthodoxias.
At the same time, Metropolitan Paul of Drama has stated that he himself will report several of his own priests to the local Prosecutor for violating the state curfew, “because I feel a burden on my conscience and I do not want to be indirectly responsible for illness, or much more, the death of anybody.”