Athens, January 27, 2015
Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), has refused to take the traditional religious oath on the Bible as the new prime minister of Greece, but has asked the blessing and prayers of head of the Church of Greece.
According to RIA-Novosti, Alexis Tsipras has been sworn in with the civil oath. “Mr. President, I promise to obey the Constitution and law of Greece and to serve the general interests of the Greek people,” he assured. (According to the media, the new Greek prime minister is an atheist).
A. Tsipras has broken with the tradition of taking the religious oath of the office before the nation’s Orthodox spiritual leader, though he paid a visit to Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece on Monday, reports the Russian Athens portal.
According to Romfea, the prime minister asked the blessing and prayers of Archbishop Ieronymos.
The hierarch received the guest at the Archbishopric’s hall and congratulated him on his party's victory in the recent elections. Then the archbishop had a private conversation with him that lasted 35 minutes.
According to Romfea, A. Tsipras, addressing himself to head of the Church of Greece, has promised that from now on the relations between the state and the Church will be warmer than ever before.
“I have come in order to get your blessing to undertake our difficult task. We will need much energy. And I have also come to assure you that now the relationships between the state and the Church will be more constructive than ever before,” Tsipras said.
“The role of the Church is particularly important today, and our task is to work side by side so as to do all the best things for our fellow countrymen. I believe we will achieve amazing results with this dialogue, good collaboration, the existing warm atmosphere,” he added.
“Your Beatitude, please pray for Greece!” said Tsipras, addressing the archbishop, at the end of the conversation.
The hierarch, in his turn, once again congratulated the new prime minister, stressing the significance of a real close cooperation of the state and the Church for the good of the Greek nation.
“Mr. Prime minister, we are so grateful to you and we are moved by your concern. Our primary concern is to help our fellow citizens who are constantly facing new problems which we must solve competently and without using any force. Now it is necessary that each of us contributes to finding the way out. And this is possible, as our common aim is our people,” Archbishop Ieronymos accentuated.
It also should be noted that no statements were made following the meeting, but the hierarch saw the prime minister out after the conversation, according to the media reports.