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Church of Greece wants the hiring of 4,000 priests, puts Gov’t in quandary.

The Church of Greece wants 4,000 priests on the state payroll and for this purpose it proceed to an unusual move, a first: it invited Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to attend the meeting of the Holy Synod on Monday. The issue is putting the conservative Greek government in a real quandary as a large part of its voters are believers and churchgoers and the Church has the power to direct them accordingly if something turns “sour.”

Increasing the number of state positions to 10,000 from the current 6,000 and a revision of the Church’s charter are the top issues on the agenda of the meeting.

Citing Church sources, media wrote on Friday that it is the first time a prime minister will attend a Synod meeting and it is being viewed as a signal of the intention to strengthen ties between the state and the Church, as well as recognition of the latter’s support in the management of the coronavirus pandemic.
These 4,000 priests already work pro bono and seek to be on state payroll and a permanent position, media reported apparently citing Church sources
The issue of hiring 4,000 priests amid the pandemic when there is a shortage of medical and nursing staff in public hospitals triggered an outrage on social media. Among the critics MEP and EP Vice president Dimitris Papadimoulis (SYRIZA)

Due to the strong reactions, already late on Friday the government leaked it had no plans to hire the 4,000 priests for the time being.
Saturday afternoon, some newspaper reported “the government decided not to hire 4,000 priests at this moment, because the timing is not right.”
Then the government spokesman decided to intervene in an effort put an end to the scenarios “to hire or not to hire” priests. He maybe made the whole issue even worse….
“In the last hew years, the Interior Ministry hires annually 200 priests to replace those who retire,” and that’ on the agenda,” spokesman Giannis Oikonomou reportedly said.
Now some Greeks wonder whether the same quota retirement/hiring 1:1 is valid also for doctors and nurses or whether there is still the bailout-imposed quota 1:7…

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  1. Why does the government hire priest? Why does the government pay salaries to priests? My taxes pay priests? Why doesn’t the church hire and pay its own priests? The church has more money than the entire Greek budget. What a racket.

  2. Catch 22. Greece badly needs more separation between Church and State. If any MPs tried to achieve more separation they know that the Church would simply tell its congregation not to vote for them and they would probably lose their seat in Parliament. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that a lot of the links between Church and State are embedded in the Constitution and cannot be altered by a simple Bill. I think that it requires a much bigger majority (two thirds?) to alter the Constitution than the simple majority needed to pass a Bill.

  3. The Church of Greece should have 4,000 priests and even more, when possible!! And dont touch the constitution!!! The holy synode is completly right ok! Why should I pay for an antivaxxing Doctor, when I could have a provaxxing priest instead?