Priests should not ask for cash, Church says

A representative of Archbishop Christodoulos, the head of the Church of Greece, told Kathimerini yesterday that it is «unacceptable» for priests to demand gifts of cash before or after conducting a wedding or baptism. There have been increasing complaints from best men, bridesmaids, godfathers and godmothers that priests are demanding illicit payments of up to 400 euros for their services. «It is unacceptable for priests to ask for a specific sum or for people to have to make a downpayment to book a church,» said Father Timotheos Anthis, a spokesman for the Archbishopric. «The archbishop has banned all this but it still exists in some areas because the [local] bishop allows it,» he added. Unsolicited contributions at weddings or baptisms are allowed but donors have to be given a receipt.

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