Churches only open to priests on Easter, not the public, says spokesman


The Church of Greece clarified on Thursday that churches will only be open for clerics and few of their staff during the Orthodox Holy Week, in line with government decisions to stem the spread of the new coronavirus, and called on the faithful to pray at home.

“Under the present circumstances, the Holy Synod does not urge any believer to come to church. Churches are not open to the faithful and this is the meaning of the holy communion behind ‘closed doors’,” said the Metropolitan of Nafpaktos and Agios Vlasios and Church of Greece spokesman, Ierotheos, speaking in morning TV news programs.

The clarification came after government spokesman Stelios Petsas told journalists at a regular press briefing on Thursday that it is working with the Church to avoid crowds gathering outside churches during Easter week.

Petsas also said the government has ensured that the annual ceremony when the “Holy Fire” arrives from Jerusalem to Athens by airplane will be kept this year.