May 3, 2012

Hierarchs Should Avoid Extremist Scandals, Church of Greece Says

May 2, 2012

Today's meeting of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece smelled like gunpowder after the epistle of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was read, which, as it was decided, would be read immediately after Pascha, as reported by Romfea.

In this epistle, Bartholomew asked of the Archbishop and the Holy Synod to condemn "with one voice" the actions taken by bishops of the Church of Greece (primarily the "anathemas" of Metropolitan Seraphim).

Then a Metropolitan - a member of the Holy Synod - spoke of "unprecedented internal disputes within that of another Church" stressing that "we do not accept suggestions for something that, in essence, does not affect us directly."

Today, however, they decided to write an epistle, a response that says the Greek Church will remain faithful to sober dialogue and reconciliation and does not want tensions.

However, all the bishops of the Holy Synod unanimously (even those of the New Territories) expressed discomfort at the imperative, saying that the tone of the epistle was "like it was addressed to schoolchildren".

Most bishops admit that the actions of the Metropolitan of Piraeus was perhaps "too much", but "those in the Ecumenical Patriarchate must be careful to also not scandalize and cause tensions".

"Errors are made on both sides", said one member of the Holy Synod.

As an example of "scandal" on the part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate was the Roman Catholic who went in and out of the Holy Altar at the Patriarchal Church of Saint George on Pascha Sunday.

"We have a flock that is scandalized, and they should not be so exagerrated", said a Hierarch of the Synod.