"The liturgical presence of the faithful in the Churches was not served at the expense of health protection" pointed out Metropolitan Dorotheos
Before the Sequence of the Great Sanctification, His Eminence Mr.. Dorotheos B, addressed to those present and to those attending the ap’ live broadcast sacred events faithful, said the following:……….
“I want, in the first place, to thank you from the bottom of my heart, because you have fully complied with the health protection measures, but also our Christians who stayed at home today and guarded the sanctity of the day from unwanted, possibly, sadness, that no one wants to cause.
On today's holiday, the thoughtful and profound Hierarch of Constantinople and a scholar of the sacred texts and all the signs of the Divine Economy, Saint John Chrysostom sees a deep and great allegorical significance. at the Jordan turn backwards. as, the river springs from two springs, one called Ior and the other called Dan. From the union of the two rivers emerges the Jordan, poured into the Dead Sea. Thus the human race came from the ancestors, Adam and Eve. After apostasy the human race walked in sin and spiritual death, allegorizing the Dead Sea. The Savior Christ with His Incarnation freed human nature from enslavement to decay and death resulting in even the Jordan River, seeing the Lord being baptized, to want to turn backwards, and does not want to die, led to the Dead Sea, but to return with man to the source of life, to its Creator, The god.
Today's, Well, holiday has a great significance for our life and our spiritual training, for our salvation.
The Lord calls us to return from sin to true life!
It invites us to return from rage and laziness to hope and light!
He invites us to return, to see His face, to see our God Himself shine, the Father to witness the Baptized Son and the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, to illuminate with His light the event of the Baptism of our Lord, which is a fact of both our own spiritual life and our personal course in history and the world!
Today, Well, that the bells of our Churches rang joyfully and you were allowed to attend church, observing the rules of health protection, I would like to say that the decision of the Archbishop and the Permanent Holy Synod to keep our Churches open, it was not a decision of conflict with the Government, nor was it a decision against health protection measures!
It was a decision of pastoral responsibility!
The Archbishop and the twelve Synodal Hierarchs decided with pastoral responsibility, as it was announced in advance and you know it and it was agreed with the State that the Temples will remain open at Christmas, on New Year and Epiphany and our Christians will be able to attend church, strictly observing the measures and protecting the great gift of God to man, health, but also life itself!
And when it was announced that today the Temples will be closed, the conscience of the Archbishop, as Ecclesiastical Order and Hierarch, did not allow even you the few, that you represent, and our other Christians all over Greece, who today went to church to be deprived of the joy of the common, prayer, of the Divine Liturgy, of the Communion of the Body and Blood of the Lord and the subsequent Sanctification and sprinkling, by the performed M. Agiasmos.
And because there was a lot of talk that we have to apply all the laws- and so we must do in a coordinated State- there is an article in the Penal Code, the article 33, which refers to when the wrongdoing of an act is removed, when there is a conflict of goods, rights or interests, that is, when the one who erred did not apply the law, but served the higher good at the expense of the other good, then he has not committed an illegal act and is not punished.
Today, Nevertheless, by the decision of the Holy Synod, the higher good, which according to her was your Liturgical presence was not served to the detriment of the other good, which is health protection, here in our Temple, in all the Temples of our islands, in all the Temples of Greece both purposes were served, and your souls are at rest and your consciences are at peace and the law is obeyed and the health protection measures are applied!
besides, the Archbishop and all the Hierarchs, from the first moment of the pandemic, although it was very difficult for the Church to decide to keep the Temples closed for months, nevertheless we have borne the burden of this great responsibility and though we have heard so many myriads from both justified and extreme voices, and what has been written against the Archbishop and the Synods of both the past and the present period, for the closed Temples, however the Church has stood up to the circumstances and will accompany this period hand in hand with the State.
These hands will never be untied, because the purpose is common, how we will all contribute together so that the pandemic leaves our homeland and our lives and our families as soon as possible.
There is no, Well, conflict, there is no objection, there are no egos!
There is only pastoral responsibility of the Church towards the people of God and at the same time responsibility of the Church to cooperate at this time with the State, in the struggle for our liberation from this vicious virus.
And you must not forget that the Church has paid a heavy price: We buried three High Priests, the two youngest in age, 60 years, with action and pastoral ministry, Hierarchs dynamic, with a unique and unrepeatable work in their Provinces, that we all honored, many of our Priests and many monks!
And when we go to church we observe the health protection measures, we observe them not only for the protection of others, but also of ourselves!
Not even the Metropolitans, nor are our Priests out of danger,nor the deacons, nor the chanters, nor our partners!
No one wants anything bad to happen to them!
That’ this is what we wish and pray for your health my brothers every day this time, both in the Temples and in our personal prayer house.
Every day I pray to God and I say “God protect the Clergy and the People of this Metropolis, of which I am responsible, and ritual I beg Him for myself!
I think so, Well, that today, first you, you Christians saved our day!
And I want to thank you all, but I also want to thank the Authorities, which showed sensitivity and so we were able to perform the Divine Liturgy peacefully and then the Great Sanctification.
At the end, please come with the vial, that you received when you came to the Temple, to worship the cross, which I offer to everyone as a blessing, and receive the Blessing with absolute order, without giving anyone any reason and no right to be deceived.
And because there are so many Christians who called me and insist on throwing the Cross into the sea, as it is forbidden to throw the Cross in the port of Ermoupolis, in the first port of liberated Greece, the anniversary of 200 years of freedom of which we celebrate this year, I want to let you know that, and I will do that for our sailors, our fishermen and those who work at sea, at a time when I will not announce I will go alone to a remote and uninhabited beach, I will throw holy water into the sea, I will throw down the Holy Cross and pray with you, that you will represent mentally, the sea to be peaceful, the sailing of our ships to be peaceful and safe, let our Sailors return safe and sound to their homes and let us all enjoy its goods, adding and preserving it!!
Happy Birthday and Blessed”!!