An Orthodox bishop has banned the priests of his diocese from expressing any support for non-vaccination, saying his patience has been exhausted as regards the issue.
In an encyclical issued to clerics Friday, Metropolitan Ignatios of Dimitriada, who is based in Volos, said that the “unacceptable attitude of [some] fellow believers had caused enormous damage to our fellow believers”.
“From now on, we strictly prohibit any reference to the Covid-19 disease and non-vaccination, whether in sermons or otherwise, including in the context of hearing confession from and personal communication with your parishioners,” he told his clergy.
He said he would not hesitate to impose sanctions on priests that disobey his orders, starting with a ban on them administering blessings and hearing confession.
He also said he would commence examining, on a case by case basis, those priests who remain unvaccinated.