After Archbishop Irenaios of Crete was recently informed that a priest in his See charged 150 euros to conduct a baptism, he issued an encyclical on 11 May 2010 to his clergy not to scandalize the faithful in these times of economic crisis. He said that in these sensitive times it is forbidden "to fail and to scandalize our people, of whom we all know are going through difficulties, anguish and indignation." He went on to point out: "The Mysteries of the Church are not possible nor permissable to be commercialized nor invoiced." The encyclical can be read here.
Archbishop Tells Priests To Stop Asking For Money From Faithful
May 15, 2010
The archbishop of Crete, Irenaios, has written to all of the island’s priests telling them not ask worshippers to make donations to the Church in return for carrying out a baptism, or marriage and funeral services. It is common for clergy to request cash on such occasions, but Irenaios suggested that, given the current economic crisis, the Church should think carefully about its behavior. “The recent events in Athens carry many messages that we need to contemplate,” he said in a letter sent to all of Crete’s churches. “It is not possible or permissible for church services to be accompanied by a price list,” the archbishop said. “Clerics should not turn into businessmen.”