Amid discontent, bishops to discuss Church-state deal


The first major clash within the Church over a tentative agreement between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Archbishop Ieronymos to take clerics off the state payroll is expected on Friday when the Holy Synod is to convene amid reports of objections among a significant portion of the bishops.

The agreement does not foresee cuts in the priests’ payment but they would no longer be civil servants, an idea that many clerics object to. 

Among the most prominent opponents are bishops Chrysostomos of Messinia and Anthimos of Thessaloniki.

On Wednesday, members of the Association of Greek Clergymen met with political party leaders to express their concerns.

Meanwhile, the Church of Greece has appealed to the Council of State over a government reform relating to the foundation that runs the Evangelistria church on Tinos island.

The reform, which dictates that the bishop of Syros can no longer appoint officials to the Tinos foundation, is a violation of the Church’s autonomy, according to the appeal.