That statement by Bishop Amvrosios that the “wildfires are God’s punishment for an atheist Prime Minister,” triggered an outrage not only among the Greek society but also among the Greek Orthodox clergy.
A young priest in Kalamata, Peloponnese, urged Amvrosios to finally SHUT UP!
In a post on his Facebook account, Father Neofitos wrote late on Tuesday:
“We respect everyone especially the elderly, however, some has to tell a specific senior to finally <<SHUT UP>> to stop causing pain and scandalize the Orthodox and not orthodox world. It’s not the fault of Jesus and the Church, stop using them so that you can bring out all your maliciousness. We are priest and our words should be ambrosia and nectar to the people’s souls, not gale and vinegar, ” Father Neofytos wrote according to messiniapress.
Criticism came also by the Bishop of Alexandroupolis Anthimos who wrote in an article posted on the website of the Metropolis with the title “Enough!”
“Today God is mourning together with the people. God is mourning for a big disaster that led to the loss of live of dozens of our brothers. God does not stand opposite to us. God does not punish, God does not know what punishment is but he stands on the side of his creatures, the fruits of his love. He suffers with them, he cries with them, he is devastating as they are and he is crucified with them again.”
Bishop Anthimos added, “The ‘atheist’ Prime Minister spoke with more compassion for the victims than you did.” Addressing Amvrosios personally, he wrote “your message was full of hate, anti-christian and cruel.”
Also on Tuesday evening , the spokesman of the Archbishop of Athens said that Amvrosios statement “express his personal views.”
But the statement by the official Greek Orthodox Church was not enough to calm the Greek society that was calling for respect to the wildfires victims and their families.
Wednesday morning, it was the Archbishop of Athens, Ieronymous, personally who took position.
“God is love. He does not take revenge,” the Archbishop of Athens told reporters after a commemoration service for the wildfires victims in the Metropolis of Athens.
“God is love, Ieronymos stressed and added “the rest are personal views, but also personal views have a limit.”