Alternate Minister for Migration and Asylum, Giorgos Koumoutsakos, received Communion on Thursday without taking any measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, according to a website reporting on issues relating to Orthodox Church.
The website Romfea published a photo of the minister receiving Communion in the tradition of the Orthodox Church, using a single cup and spoon., reports daily kathimerini.
According to the report, Koumoutsakos attended a service at Aghia Sofia Church in Neo Psychiko on Thursday.
Note that Greek rules against the pandemic -imposed since Sept 16 -demand the wearing of masks in all closed places as well as strict social distancing. Apparently these rules do not apply to ministers and priests.
The article interpreted the minister’s Communion as “an answer” to a call by Manolis Dermitzakis, Professor of Genetics at the University of Geneva Medical School, for priests to switch to single-use spoons in the sacrament.
According to daily kathimerini, Demirtzakis told Skai TV on Thursday that “It [communion] should have stopped already before we discussed closing restaurants, economic activities, because we have to decide; how can we close a lot of businesses, cause such a big problem to [our] GDP, while there is no flexibility on the part of the Church to, let’s say, use a plastic spoon for Holy Communion? I find it unacceptable.”
What is an interesting coincidence is that the Greek Government is just about to impose additional measures and restrictions against the spread of the coronavirus in Athens and Attica, including special controls for vulnerable groups of the society, the chronic sick and the elderly.
The government and the head of Civil Protection who addresses Greeks with awfully stern tune and raised finger should not wonder, why many Greeks do not comply with the protection rules.
Head of Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias was asked to comment during the live briefing and short after he announced additional measures for Athens.
“We are all Christians but we don’t need to show off with our faith,” Hardalias said adding that “members of the government have to give a good example when it comes to protective measures compliance.”
PS Some mean Greek could claim: at least, the minister showed that he is a humble man, just one of the average churchgoers, and did not ask for a special spoon specially designed for ministers