Synod tackles mosque issue

A new standing Holy Synod, consisting of members with views closest to those expressed in the past by Archbishop Christodoulos, started its work Monday with the beginning of the new ecclesiastical calendar. Members of the newly formed Holy Synod will be debating issues from the period between September 1, 2002 and August 31, 2003. The composition of the new Holy Synod includes six bishops from the dioceses of «new countries» and six from the dioceses of «old countries.» Among the many pending issues that are to be tackled by the 12-member Holy Synod and its permanent president, Archbishop Christodoulos, in the months ahead include: the cremation of the dead; the construction of a Muslim mosque; a subsidy for families with a third child in Thrace; the publishing of a report documenting the the contribution by the Orthodox Church to society; and the allotment of property for the construction of new buildings. The agenda of the first session on Monday included the formation of Synod sub-committees and Synod courts.