Church-state agreement appears to be on the rocks


The outlook for a tentative agreement between Archbishop Ieronymos and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to loosen close ties between the Greek Church and the state appeared unclear on Wednesday after a church committee decided to halt discussions.

The reason given was that the committee is not authorized by the Holy Synod to discuss changes to priests’ salary status.

The panel said it would send its recommendations to the synod which “is the only competent organ to take the relevant decisions.”

The move came days after a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul said it opposed changes to clerics’ salary status.

A key aspect of the deal was for the state to continue paying priests, but as functionaries of the church, not civil servants.