NEWS

Church must ‘take responsibility,’ PM tells archbishop

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The Church of Greece must “take responsibility” for its decisions and “contribute to the great effort to contain the impact of the pandemic,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is quoted as telling Archbishop Ieronymos on Tuesday.

Speaking during a brief meeting with the head of the Church of Greece on the sidelines of the swearing-in of his new cabinet minister on Tuesday, Mitsotakis was quoted by sources in his office as telling Ieronymos that the aim of restrictions imposed by the government was to ensure that “our children can get back to school, as quickly as possible.”

The meeting comes a day after the Church’s Synod voted to defy a government ban on church services for Epiphany on Wednesday, which is part of stricter nationwide measures designed to prevent a spike in infections following the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Sources at the Maximos Mansion said that the prime minister expressed his dismay with the Synod’s decision and “stressed the need for the strict implementation of measures and health safety guidelines.”

The Church, Mitsotakis reportedly said, “has an obligation, as it has done so far, to set a good example.”

Ieronymos, for his part, expressed his desire for “good cooperation,” during a brief message to the first group of ministers who were sworn in on Tuesday morning.