Ieronymos, Metropolitan Bishop of Egio and Kalavryta, in the Peloponnese, proceeded to bless the waters at the town of Egio, defying the instructions of the official Church.
He was accompanied by his predecessor, Amvrosios, a well-known extremist, who resigned in 2019, and two individuals who dove to retrieve a cross the bishop threw at sea.
According to media, Ieronymos and the two divers were fined by the coast guard.
The government and the church have agreed that the custom of throwing a cross into the sea, or a river, to “bless the waters” would not take place outdoors this year, to avoid the usual crowds that attend the ceremony.
Those who retrieve the cross receive a special blessing, although nowadays it is more likely that the cross is tied to a string held by the priest, while the divers merely touch it.