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“Holy Communion shields us against Covid-19,” says Xanthi Bishop, opens churches defying lockdown

The Bishop of Xanthi Panteleimon decided to revolt against the lockdown measures and opened the churches on Monday thus allowing the faithful to receive the Holy Communion. Panteleimon’s decision has caused concern in the local community as the region in north-eastern Greece is one of the most hit by the coronavirus.

In an interview with a local newspaper, the Bishop said on Sunday that he had instructed the priests to open the churches daily and, in fact, to enable the faithful to receive the Communion.

He claimed that the Holy Communion is “the only thing that shields us from the coronavirus and any other disease!”!

“The Holy Communion is the medicine of immortality,” he said adding that the churches will be open until December 14, the deadline for the lockdown.

According to media information, strict recommendations were made to the Dioceses in the previous days that no violation of the emergency measures should be observed.

Some citizens in the area now speak about the need for the intervention of Justice.

However, at the same time church websites use the Bishop’s statements as means of pressure in order to generalize disobedience to the lockdown measures.

In fact, the Bishop calls on citizens to break the laws and thus in an area most burdened since the beginning of the pandemic with many victims, among them priests of the local Diocese..

During the first wave of the pandemic and the lockdown in spring, some churches in Xanthi were secretly opened and the faithful were able to receive the Communion.

It should be recalled that several bishops and priests got infected with Covid-19, and some of them also died althougth they were “shielded” with the Holy Communions, as Panteleimon falsely claims.

The Bishop of Xanthi, however, is the only one among high-ranking clergy opposing the lockdown.

According to kathimerini, tension has been rising in the ranks of the Holy Synod over the Church of Greece’s stance towards coronavirus-related restrictions. Several bishops accuse its leadership of being “too mild” in its response to the continued lockdown on churches.

The bishops of Mesogeia and Kalavryta are among the more vocal proponents of a reopening, accusing the government of “policing worship” and saying that “closed churches are a threat to the faithful.”

On Monday morning, the ex-Bishop of Trikkaia died of Covid-19 at the age of 88.

PS As my cat would say: Where is Greek Police when you need one?

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8 comments

  1. Where are the Greek Poice??? Probably receiving Holy Communion !!!

  2. How is this different from socialists marching for “rights”?

    • Communicants sip from the same spoon, socialists don’t – not that I approve of anyone breaking the rules and making things worse for all of us.

  3. Sounds like a repeat of the bubonic plague in the 1300’s. People gathered in churches to seek protection from the black plague when they should have isolated themselves in the forest and prayed there. There are situations where simple common sense must be employed.

  4. Religion is one thing that gives comfort, but religious madness is another! Dont think God approves on this behaviour!
    PS: KTG your cat is smart 😉

  5. Why is he not immediately arrested, fined €3.000 and his place of work (church) shuttered, like all other illegal workplaces?!

  6. I am an Italian citizen who has chosen to live in Greece many years ago as I knew & thought this was the land of civilization and democracy, but recent facts related to the outspoken Covid-19 do not show this… particularly here in an well known and followed online news, such comment like the last one:

    PS As my cat would say: Where is Greek Police when you need one?

    are very unhappy. All the well informed people, checking the total figures of deceased of this years and comparing with last year, it is clear that there is NOT the emergency they (mainstream media) want to show…

    The bishops of Xanthi, Mesogeia and Kalavryta are very much right when accusing the government of the continued lockdown on churches and of “policing worship” and saying that “closed churches are a threat to the faithful” O Theos einae o Theos, other things the doctors, sorry!