Some priests in Crete refuse to give communion to vaccinated citizens. And this is at a time when the country is trying to accelerate the vaccination program to create a protective shield against the delta variant of Covid-19.
The charge was made by Nikos Tsanakis, professor of pulmonology at the University of Crete.
Live on Radio Crete the scientist announced that he had received complaints that some clerics are threatening: if citizens are vaccinated against the coronavirus, they will refuse to receive Communion and accept confession. In the same radio program, the President of the Union of Associations of Clergy of the Church of Crete, Priest Zachariah Adamakis stated that the overwhelming majority of the Cretan clergy are in favor of vaccination.
Zacharakis described the deniers as “isolated cases” who in no way represent the priests on the island. “We want to leave the church and see all the believers there healthy,” he said, adding that the Church of Crete has advocated vaccination against the coronavirus from the very first moment.
Based on social media posts and statements in mainstream media, the priests believed that “vaccination allows the Antichrist to enter the body.”
Last week, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis appealed to the church for help to speed up vaccinations, a decision by the Holy Synod must be made.
Today, Thursday, Minister of Health Vasilis Kikilias and the country’s chief epidemiologist Sotiris Tsiordas will meet with the country’s top clergy to discuss vaccinations.
Interior Minister Makis Voridis stated Wednesday that the Church should restrict priests who use their position to promote their anti-vaccination views. “The position of the church at the level of the Holy Synod should be clear and encourage vaccination,” the minister said.
As we reported earlier, by its decision, the Holy Diocese of Ioannina (Ιερά Μητρόπολη Ιωαννίνων) “sent on vacation” two priests who performed Holy Communion, feeding the believers with the “blood of Christ” from disposable plastic spoons.
On the other hand, fines of up to 20,000 euros were imposed on churches where believers were asked to share Holy Communion from one teaspoon… There were also arrests of priests and metropolitans who conducted services and allowed parishioners into the church during quarantine.
It looks like the priests, like the people in general, are completely confused about what is allowed and what is not. And the Greek society itself has split into 2 irreconcilable camps: those who are for vaccination and those who are against. So similar incidents arise.
More information about the coronavirus in Greece and the vaccination program here …