March 10, 2020

"Those Who Do Not Believe in the Power of Holy Communion Should Not Receive It" (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)

On the Sunday of Orthodoxy, at the Metropolis Cathedral of Saint Demetrios in Nafpaktos, His Eminence Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou spoke in his sermon about the fear of death which is behind all our actions, especially behind our fear of illness.

"The Orthodox do not fear death, because they hope in Christ," he said. He went on to explain how the more one fears death, the more quickly death comes for them, whereas for those who do not fear death, it takes longer for it to come.

"In speaking specifically about the coronavirus," he continued, "we must be receptive to all the measures recommended by scientists and the state, but we must be careful to not be overcome by paranoia, namely the virus of paranoia. To fear the coronavirus is to fear death. We will not abolish associating with other people. We will not abolish our love for people, the Church and God, because then everything becomes permissible."

"What bothers me is not the illness itself, but that there are some who want to knock down tradition." He went on to say that "faithful Christians are not afraid of Holy Communion, because they consider it a medicine which does not transfer illnesses, as has been proven in times past by an infinite amount of examples of priests who communed those with leprosy and severe infectious diseases in hospitals, but never became ill themselves."

"Those who do not believe in the power of Holy Communion should not receive it. We do not need lukewarm Christians," the Metropolitan stressed.

His Eminence went on to call out the hypocrisy of those who teach others to fear the coronavirus, but do not speak against the 300,000 murders of embryos that take place every year in Greece alone.