Ioannina, Greece, June 21, 2021
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis wants the hierarchs of the Orthodox Church of Greece to use their sermons to encourage the faithful to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
During a visit to the city if Ioannina, the PM thanked Metropolitan Maximos of Ioannina for his contribution to the fight against the coronavirus and asked him to encourage the faithful from the pulpit to get vaccinated, reports Romfea.
“Please, Your Eminence, in your next homily, say that you want everyone to be vaccinated,” the PM pleaded.
“By speaking openly and clearly, you are protecting your flock, first of all our elderly fellow citizens. And all those who were not vaccinated during the first wave, now that they see that the vaccines are not only effective, but also completely safe, should hurry to do so,” Mitsotakis stressed.
In January, the Holy Synod of the Greek Church stated that the choice of vaccination is neither a theological nor ecclesiastical issue, but is free medical choice of each person in consultation with his doctor. The Synod is, however, upset with His Eminence Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus who has spoken out against COVID vaccines.
In April, the primate of the Greek Church, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, called on all to use their free choice to get vaccinated, calling it an act of love for God and neighbor.
In February, the Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church specifically declared that it would not take on the responsibility of promoting the vaccine.