Greek hierarchs: A mask, devil’s tool, has no place inside the sanctuary
Former Metropolitan Ambrosios of Kalavryta and Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythera oppose the wearing of medical masks in the church during the service.
The hierarchs of the Greek Orthodox Church, Former Metropolitan Ambrosios (Lenis) of Kalavryta and Metropolitan Seraphim (Stergioulis) of Kythera and Antikythera spoke out against wearing medical masks in a church during divine services.
The online edition “Vima Orthodoxias” reported that Metropolitan Seraphim wrote a letter to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in which he demanded "to leave the Church free".
“Let the State, with your vigilant care, take the measures imposed in all the other public places and let the Church be left unbound (according to the requirements of the Constitution of our State, article 13, par. 2) to regulate its house with guidance of our Holy Synod. The mask has no place inside the sanctuary,” said the Greek hierarch.
He stressed that Greek Christians have suffered a lot with the deprivation of Divine Worship during the holy period of Lent, Holy Week and Easter.
Metropolitan Seraphim expressed hope that the Greek authorities will listen to the voice and respond to the just demands of the Christen believers to avoid confronting “unpleasant surprises”.
Former Metropolitan Ambrosios of Kalavryta also opposed the obligatory use of medical masks, which he called "the devil's tool", in the temple.
“The mask, i.e. the devil's tool, now dominates everywhere! Slowly it is even entering the Orthodox Church. You can see bishops, deacons, priests, and laity exclusively in masks, which are a demonic invention. Consequently, the devil, in this case, entered the minds of some of the high priests and some other priests and blocked them! What a shame," the “Pastor & Flock” Telegram channel cites the words of Former Metropolitan Ambrosios of Kalavryta.
In his opinion, the sanitary requirements for the clergy and laity are a sign of the approach of the era of the Antichrist.
“Measures such as masks, the mandatory distance between us, the prohibition of holy holidays and the worship of holy icons of our Church, the closure of churches, the prohibition of bell ringing, as well as the use of various disinfectants even in the temple, etc. – all these are unprecedented prohibitive measures, which have now become a part of our daily life, and, above all, the fear of contracting the coronavirus from each other, all these are signs of the times,'' said the former Metropolitan Ambrose. "The era of the Antichrist is coming, and we feel it."
Earlier, the US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Payet praised the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church for "decisions on COVID-19".