Celebrations at Epiphany were different this year. In fact, they were unprecedented! The highest political leadership, the president and the Prime Minister, had practically decided to boycott the celebrations at the port of Piraeus and mark its its excellency presence another church in Athens.
President Pavlopoulos, PM Tsipras, Athens Mayor Kaminis in Athens
Reason for this unprecedented attitude was the grave disagreement between the government, in this case with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras with the local Bishop over the recent legislation that had granted rights equal to married couples also for couples of same sex (civil partnerships contracts).
Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus had to bless the waters and throw the Holy Cross in the presence of Maritime Minister and other lower ranking politicians. 18 men from the Navy and the Land Forces dived in the cold waters to retrieve the blessed Cross, one of them was the lucky one to catch it.
I have no idea who released the Holy Dove into the air…
THIS was Last Year
What made the situation even worse was that even the state broadcaster ERT did not cover and transmitted Live the Blessing of the Waters in Piraeus, contrary to the years-long tradition.
Arch-conservative Bishop Seraphim had described the civil partnership contracts as “a shameful piece of legislation” and had declared the “termination of any relationship with those politicians and state rulers who contribute to the institutionalization of such an immoral” legislation. And this was the most smooth statements the Bishop has made.
PS I suppose this year the Holy Spirit failed to bring Enlightening to those living with blinds