OPINION

Blurring the divide

Instead of concentrating its efforts on settling the ongoing dispute regarding the separation of Church and State (as one would expect), the government earlier this week yielded to one of the most pressing and persistent demands of Archbishop Christodoulos: namely the so-called upgrade of the country’s top clerical schools by granting them the same status as universities. And although the government may not have given in to all the demands of the archbishop – who visualized himself as the lifelong arch-dean of all such clerical universities – its actions clearly demonstrated that it aims to maintain a blurred division between Church and State; and this is despite the fact that all other developed societies are striving to achieve the exact opposite, and implementing reforms to this end. There are currently two theological schools in operation in Greece, which should be more than adequate – that is, for all those who simply wish to pursue a career in theology or to serve as trained clerics after their studies. Most of Greece’s clerics already have a degree from one of these schools or from equivalent schools abroad. Of course, the Church has the right – as have all religious organizations – to operate such schools in order to produce trained clerics… but why should such specialist schools be characterized as state universities?