April 15, 2010
The Greek Orthodox Holy Synod has condemned the Liturgy in the modern language which is officiated in the diocese of Nicopolis, claiming that it puts "the Church's unity" at risk.
Bishop Meletio of Nicopolis, in the northern region of Epirus, a long time ago authorized the translation of the Liturgy from liturgical Greek (close to the ancient Greek language and once spoken by the upper classes) into modern or "popular" Greek. Because, as he justified his decision, "otherwise the faithful don't understand the Divine Liturgy".
But the Synod has ruled that translating the holy texts is forbidden; it is only allowed "as an exception and after the authorization" of the Church. In the absence of a joint version, according to the Orthodox leaders, a spontaneous and casual translation of the liturgy "could jeopardize the Church's unity".
The Synod has taken its decision despite the fact that Meletio seems to enjoy the support of his faithful and has obtained the official support of other bishops.