Church of Greece Holy Synod convenes in wake of two decisions on Church-state relations in the country

Members of the Church of Greece’s Permanent Holy Synod convened today, in the wake of this month’s Council of State (CoS) ruling, which considers the previous government’s decisions regarding to the teaching and the curriculum of religion classes in public schools, as unconstitutional.
Conversely, the new center-right government this month announced that it will respect another ruling, this time taken by an independent watchdog authority, whereby the religious affiliation and citizenship of pupils will not be listed on diplomas and the education ministry’s IT system.

At the same time, deliberations are continuing in a relevant Parliament committee tasked with processing proposals for constitutional revision, proposals inherited from the previous Parliament plenum. The proposals will come up for ratification by the current plenum, which arose after the July 7 election.

In another related development, Metropolitans of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Greece must now vote for three new Metropolitans to fill the vacant ecclesiastical thrones in the Metropolises of Fthiotida, Kalavryta and Limnos, respectively.

In late August, the previous composition of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, following a recommendation by members of a relevant synodical committee, recognized the canonical right of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople to grant the Tomos of Autocephaly. The Holy Synod also recognized the privilege of the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece to deal with the issue of autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Reports in Athens on Monday noted that despite the fact that the agenda for next month’s Holy Synod meeting has already been published, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, His Beatitude Ieronymos, seeks a formula whereby the Church of Greece takes a position regarding the Ukrainian Church’s autocephaly.

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