Greek Synod calls on hierarchs to apologize for opposing pandemic measures on Pascha

Athens, July 15, 2021

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His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira and His Eminence Metropolitan Kosmas of Aetolia are expected to appear before the Permanent Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church to address the charge of insubordination against them concerning the Church’s Paschaltide pandemic measures.

According to the Holy Synod’s press release, the two hierarchs are invited “to provide oral explanations” to the Synod at its next session in August, “taking into account the recommendation of the Synodal Committee for Doctrinal and Canonical Issues relative to the letters and other actions of these hierarchs, which expressed insubordination and disrespect for the unanimous decision of the collegiate governing body of the Church of Greece regarding the extraordinary procedure for the celebration of the holy services due to health restrictions.”

The Greek Synod decided at its May session to investigate Mets. Seraphim and Kosmas after they publicly disagreed with the Synod’s decision to celebrate Pascha several hours early on Saturday evening to accommodate the state-mandated COVID curfew.

Soon after the Synod’s session on April 20, the Metropolitans sent a joint letter protesting the decision to celebrate Pascha at 9:00 PM on Holy Saturday, characterizing it as a transgression against Church Tradition. There can be no economia in this matter, the hierarchs wrote.

Met. Seraphim has expressed his displeasure with the state’s and Synod’s decisions throughout the pandemic. In March 2020, he was arrested for defying the state’s order and continuing to celebrate the Divine services. In January of this year, it was reported that he was under investigation for his statements against COVID vaccines, and he has said several times that closing churches only worsens the pandemic.

Met. Kosmas has also spoken out. In September, OrthoChristian reported on his statement against wearing masks in church.

“God does not allow you to be infected in church. God does not infect! Let us understand… It is a holy place. ‘The church is Heaven,’ says St. Kosmas of Aetolia. The altar is of God,” His Eminence emphasized.

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