The decision to issue a circular, which will be read to believers, recommending vaccination not as a compulsory, but as a free choice, was made by the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, which was strongly recommended by the Minister of Health Vasilis Kikilias and Professor Sotiris Tsiodras.
The Synod did not begin to issue an order on compulsory vaccination among the clergy, and also decided to control and limit every irrational and individual voice that denies the synodal state of the Church and its long-standing normal traditions, in order to avoid a scandal among believers and not endanger the health of all.
In particular, after the end of the meeting of the members of the Synod with the officials of the Ministry of Health, the Synod continued its session and decided:
a) Send to the Holy Archdiocese of Athens and the Holy Dioceses of Greece an appropriate circular for parishioners to inform believers about the Church’s spiritual and regular teaching on pandemics, recommending prayer vigilance and frequent participation in religious life.
b) Recommending once again the free choice of vaccination as an exclusive and scientifically proven solution to stop the spread of the virus.
c) Remind that the only body authorized to express the views of the Greek Church on all the issues raised is the Synoidal Council, as a permanent “synodal voice”, and its Representative, His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Ilion, Acharnes and Agia of Petroupoli, is the only representative of its decisions in MEDIA.
d) Control and limit every irrational and individual voice attributed to the synodal state of the Church and its long-standing canonical tradition, in order to avoid scandal among believers and danger to the health of all.
After the meeting, Mr. Kikilias, thanking His Beatitude for the hospitality and welcome, said that he had asked the Church for support in the efforts to combat the pandemic through informational actions so that those with doubts and concerns could be vaccinated to protect good life.
Mr. Tsiodras then described the meeting as constructive and emphasized that at this time of widespread spread of the virus in society, it was useful to ask the support of the Hierarchy in the church team, with which we are together in search of the truth, and he hopes that vaccinations will return to normal.
For his part, His Beatitude Archbishop spoke about a useful and important meeting, stressing the following: “We spent some time discussing and making decisions from both the invited speakers and the BSEC members to help for the benefit of our people. The minister told us about the practical issues and thoughts of this course, as well as the challenges posed by the pandemic. Mr. Professor spoke to us about his specialty. Questions and answers were asked, and many statements were made. “We have come to the conclusion that we all want the efforts (to combat the pandemic) to continue as long as we can, and the Church will make these efforts in spiritual processes along the pastoral line.”