Holy Synod wants dialogue over state relations but no pay status change


In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece said it was open to the continuation of dialogue with the state but stressed that it will not accept any changes to the salary status of clerics.

The statement effectively drew a line under four months of talks between government and church officials on a tentative agreement between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Archbishop Ieronymos to remove clerics from the state payroll as part of a broader effort to loosen cozy church-state ties.

The Holy Synod also expressed its opposition to the leftist government’s intended changes to the Greek Constitution relating to religious tolerance and the family.

In comments late Tuesday, Education and Religious Affairs Minister Costas Gavroglou underlined the state’s interest in the continuation of dialogue but also noted that the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, has ruled that clerics are not civil servants.