Ecumenical Patriarch to close all churches amid coronavirus outbreak

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Ecumenical Patriarch to close all churches amid coronavirus outbreakClosing all churches and monasteries of its ecclesiastical jurisdiction around the world and instructing Church officials to suspend liturgies and services

CONSTANTINOPLE –The Ecumenical Patriarchate decided on Wednesday morning March 17, 2020 to close all churches and monasteries of its ecclesiastical jurisdiction around the world and instructed Church officials to suspend liturgies and services, until March 29, except for the personal prayers of Christians, while keeping churches open. It also instructed the Patriarchal monasteries to continue their services for their brotherhood without allowing the presence of the public. The decision will be reviewed depending on the progress of the coronavirus pandemic.

Specifically, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew summoned to the Phanar the hierarchy of the Ecumenical Throne to discuss the issue and make the above-mentioned decision. It was also decided that the Patriarchate will be closed to visitors while all the sacred services will be offered with the Patriarch and the members of the Patriarchal court present. It is reminded here that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is considered a Monastery with the Patriarch as its Abbot and the members of the Patriarchal court as its Monastic Brotherhood. All the monastic traditions and rubrics are observed during the Great Lent including the strict fasting.

The Patriarchal action was prompted by the confusion that began to emerge in various metropolises and monasteries of the Ecumenical Patriarchate around the world where the metropolitans and the abbots were doing whatever they wanted.

At the meeting, the Patriarch announced that his planned trip to Greece has been canceled. The next meeting of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate was scheduled for April 27.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate issued the following Communiqué:

“As this coronavirus crisis continues to spread and intensify on a global scale, the Ecumenical Patriarchate is monitoring the situation with an urgent sense of responsibility towards its faithful and all people without exception, and, following the Communiqué of 11 March 2020, upon deliberation of its Hierarchs in the City, announces the following:

1) The Ecumenical Patriarchate emphatically reiterates its appeal to everyone to limit their outings and travels to what is necessary, remaining in their homes for their own safety and the protection of the general public.

2) It commends the spirit of self-sacrifice demonstrated by those working in the field of healthcare and expresses its gratitude for their extraordinary and exhaustive efforts to assist those in need, as well as for the danger they knowingly risk by coming in contact with those infected by Covid-19.

3) It underlines the need for everyone to follow the decisions and instructions of the responsible health authorities for the sake of the common good.

4) In light of decisions already taken by some eparchies of the Ecumenical Throne, today we universally declare our ecclesiastical resolution and mandate to cease all divine services, events, and rites, with the exception of private prayer in churches that will remain open, until the end of March. This restriction will be later reassessed, in accordance with the development of the pandemic caused by the virus.

5) All Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monasteries will continue to hold regular divine services for their monastic communities, but outside pilgrims and visitors will not be permitted entry.

6) In the same framework, the Patriarchal Offices at the Phanar will remain closed until further notice, while the Ecumenical Patriarch and clergy of the Patriarchal Court will perform the prescribed divine services and pray for the whole world and for its speedy relief from this trial.

From the Chief Secretariat of the Holy and Sacred Synod

Phanar, 18 March 2020.”

Read more at thenationalherald.com

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Pvasiliadis

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