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April 5, 2012

Holy Synod of Greece On the Suicide At Syntagma Square

Yesterday, April 4th, a Greek pensioner shot himself dead in the busiest public square in Athens during Wednesday morning’s “rush hour,” leaving a note that police said linked his suicide with the country’s acute financial woes.

The 77-year-old drew a handgun and shot himself in the head near a busy subway exit in central Syntagma Square, reportedly yelling, “so I won’t leave debts for my children!”

The square, opposite Greece’s Parliament, is a focal point for public protests against the government’s austerity cuts. (Read more here)

The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece gave the following statement in the aftermath:

The event of the suicide of the elderly pensioner at Syntagma Square causes us sorrow and sympathy and leads us to the following thoughts:

1. This suicide and similar ones to this, in these painful days of crisis we are facing, is an event which strongly concerns our community. The problematic suffering and the worsening of the crisis cultivate despair and lead people into desperate situations, depriving them of their dignity.

2. The Church never endorses such options as a response to the problems of people. Instead it cultivates patience, hope and trust in the person of Christ.

3. Philanthropically we stand by the relatives of the deceased and pray that God gives them peace and consolation from on high.

The Standing Holy Synod of the Church of Greece

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos