Greek priests will stand trial for celebrating Pascha at midnight, violating curfew

Thessaloniki, May 11, 2021

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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.”

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Utrecht5/13/2021 7:42 am
“Do not tolerate any more foolishness or misguidance from priests or archpriests. Do not turn a blind eye for you will be co-responsible. The Saints are forewarning you.” St John Maximovitch "In the future, Orthodox Christians will be divided - every society will come, 'we are not asking you to deny Christ, but to accept all religions, as "paths up the mountain"' - Fr Daniel, Sysoev, New Martyr "They will legally introduce carnivals in the Church with a law." Elder Vasileios of Kafsokalivia, 2012 "Very difficult days are coming. Take care of your soul! Gather and give your fight!" Elder Ephraim There are ZERO incorrupt relics of ecumenist theologians. Leave them to God and pray for their souls!
Nicole 5/12/2021 11:01 pm
God Bless Them! May they receive they’re reward in heaven!
sherlock_holmes5/12/2021 12:15 am
Yes, God bless these courageous and faithful priests ! And for metropolitan Paul, the viruses don't have a watch, whether it is 9 PM or Midnight they do the same.
Herman5/11/2021 8:27 pm
This is how it seems to me: the priests did the right thing. It's called "blessed disobedience." The Holy Synod of Greece was wrong. They allowed the State to compel them to alter their liturgical practices and violate the theology of the most holy day of the year, out of fear (something that Bishop Irenei of London (ROCOR) said in an article last year that the Church would never do). I hope they have the humility to admit that and to defend their clergy from this revolting secular show trial. If you find some other articles in Greek, and read statements from Metropolitan Pavlos, he is behaving as if the fact that the Greek priests refused to celebrate Pascha a few hours early is some kind of massive crime, that they "play with the health of the people", which is absurd. This restriction had nothing to do with "health" but with the curfew imposed by the Greek State, as if Christians being at church at midnight is somehow so much more dangerous than Christians being at church at 9pm. It literally doesn't make a difference... aren't there always LESS people outside at 3am than there are at 9pm anyway? These curfews make no sense at all, it's just stupidity, arbitrary tyranny, and we are under no obligation whatsoever to play along with this madness.
Antiochene Son5/11/2021 7:15 pm
Metropolitan Paul *of Drama* is aptly named. LOL.
Antiochene Son5/11/2021 7:14 pm
If the Church cared about souls, it would anathematize the prosecutors and anyone else involved.
Stan Minor5/11/2021 6:20 pm
"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.” Yes, but what about their spiritual death?
Mikhail5/11/2021 3:37 pm
God bless these courageous and faithful priests for standing firm for the Holy Orthodox faith. And may the Lord forgive Metropolitan Paul of Drama for imitating Judas.
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