On November 9, 2021, Chrysostomos (Avayanos), Metropolitan of Eleftheroupoli of the Greek Orthodox Church, sent a circular to the priests of his diocese, in which he ordered each cleric to be vaccinated against covid within one week, according to the Greek edition “Vima Orthodoxy”…
The priests who did not fulfill the decree, Metropolitan Chrysostom promised to punish by removing them from church posts, and warned that he would also severely punish any clergyman who in any way interferes with the vaccination of his parishioners.
“We already consider him unworthy of his sacred mission, and at the same time an antisocial and inhuman element,” emphasized Metropolitan Chrysostom.
The hierarch urged those clergy who have not yet been vaccinated to “immediately run to the vaccination centers and get it done” within the next week. Otherwise, apart from a reprimand, they will be dismissed from church posts, such as: economists, protopresbyters, archimandrites. In addition, they will not be allowed to accept confessions.
In the same circular, Metropolitan Chrysostomos demanded to shorten and simplify services: “Divine liturgies in churches, Vespers will be simplified and accelerated in duration.”
As His Holiness explains, due to the fact that all services are held in churches with open doors and windows during the cold season, “Christians in protective masks should not suffer for long.” According to the circular, the morning service must begin at 8 am, the Divine Liturgy at 9, and its end must be “obligatory” no later than 10 am.
The Metropolitan’s circular ends with an appeal to the priests to pray to the Mother of God every Friday, reading out the special wish he had conveyed to end the pandemic.