Amid controversy over the Church of Greece’s stance on the coronavirus, Archbishop Ieronymos on Friday urged worshippers to display “a spirit of responsibility,” saying their faith would not be in doubt if they didn’t go to church.
“There is no way to measure faith, neither do our clerics keep a register of who attends our churches,” he said.
His comments came after the Holy Synod faced criticism for not taking a clear stance on measures to curb the virus. It had suggested that the elderly avoid church but said services will continue as usual, including holy communion (the wine-soaked bread symbolizing Christ’s blood and flesh that worshippers consume from the same spoon).
In his statement on Friday, Ieronymos reiterated the Church’s call for worshippers to follow Health Ministry hygiene guidelines. But he did not appear to shift on holy communion, instead condemning criticism from “ostensibly elitist circles.”