The Church of Greece will officially participate in the protest rally on Macedonia name for the Former Republic of Macedonia. “The church will support the protest rally provided it is peaceful and without political or party affiliations,” the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church of Greece, Archbishop Ieronymos II, said on Tuesday.
The Archbishop had a meeting with rally organizers
“His Beatitude pointed to the organizers the clear position of the Church of Greece, as it has always been formulated, on the non-acceptance of the term ‘Macedonia’ or any derivative as a component of the name of the state of Skopje and analyzed the important ecclesiastical parameter of the issue,” the Archdiocese of Athens said in a press release.
According to the Archdiocese, the Archbishop reminded the organizers of the latest announcement of the Standing Holy Synod, according to which the Church of Greece considers that “every expression to defend Macedonia’s rights is commended, as long as it is genuine, selfless and spontaneous, and always in the spirit of a legitimate and democratic manifestation” and without “political or party affiliations”.
The Church will be represented at the rally by Dorotheos of Syros, Tinos, Andros, Kea and Melos, the Metropolitan of Drama, Pavlos, and the Metropolitan of Chios, Markos
Some Bishops, thought, oppose the participation in the rally. Chrysostomos of Messinia issued a statement saying that the Church has nothing to do with “the blur environment” of a protest rally that “exploits the indisputable and unmovable position of the Greek people on the non-use of the name “Macedonia” by the neighboring state of Skopje.” In his statement the bishop questions “Who are the independent organizers of rallies?” and underlines that the Church should be impartial and on the side of all people.
On Tuesday, two separate groups submitted requests for license to the City of Athens. The Municipality decided in favor of one group the “Coordinator of Pan-Macedonian Organizations.” One of the key note speakers will be famous music composer, Mikis Theodorakis.
The protest rally is scheduled for o2:00 p.m. Sunday, February 4th 2018.