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Athos authorities: Communion is necessary

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The authorities of the monastic community of Mount Athos in northern Greece said in a statement on Wednesday that they recognize the necessity of measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus but also noted, however, that the sacrament of Holy Communion “is absolutely necessary for the spiritual life” of worshippers.

In particular, the statement said the 1,000-year-old monastic community respects the efforts undertaken by health authorities and scientists to curb the pandemic and that the safety guidelines are being observed diligently, but insisted that they must not result in “the restriction of religious freedom and Christian worship.”