The Holy Synod of Greece’s Orthodox Church said Monday it supported government restrictions aimed at curbing the coronavirus pandemic, however describing criticism of religious practices as misplaced.
In a statement issued after the death over the weekend of a senior Orthodox cleric in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, who had been infected with Covid-19, the Holy Synod described media focus on the Holy Communion as “neurotic.”
The Holy Synod, which is the Church’s governing body, attacked “aspiring public opinion leaders [who seek to] impose unscientific correlations regarding the spread of coronavirus in defiance of epidemiological data and who even opine on issues of faith without having any knowledge or competence in the area of theology.”
Since the democratic state guarantees religious freedom, they do not have the right to demand that the state ban holy communion as ‘unhealthy,’ just because they themselves choose not to believe,” it said.
The Greek Orthodox Church insists it is impossible for any disease – including Covid-19 – to be transmitted through Communion.