The Church of Crete expresses its strong opposition to the proposed amendment of Articles 3 and 21 of the Constitution concerning the Orthodox Church and the institution of the family, as well as issues on the ecclesiastical property and the clergy payroll, after the meeting of the Holy Provincial Synod today in Heraklion.
As indicated in the relevant communiqué, any introduction of the concept of “religious neutrality” will lead to the total elimination of the Orthodox character of the Hellenic identity, while the Greek Family will be institutionally degraded because of the adverse legal effects.
The Holy Synod also reiterated the original position and Decision of the Church of Crete, in which unanimously abides in maintaining the existing working arrangements of the clergy in Unified Wage and the Single Payment Authority of the State, without affecting what is applied today.
It also states that it disagrees with the text of the “Implementation plan on the State-Church Agreement,” which was published on Tuesday, February 12, 2019.
According to the Holy Synod of the Church of Crete, this text is a general descriptive legal framework, which has ambiguities and gaps. Also, despite the fact that it only refers to the Church of Greece, it was given to the Church of Crete, as a plan that, in the future, the Government also intends to apply by analogy to the Church of Crete.
It also stresses that the signing of the proposed Contract does not ensure the future of the clergy payroll, since, each Contract can be unilaterally terminated or breached, based on various legal pretexts, as has happened in the past.
It also notes that if the competent ministry invites the Church of Crete, they will provide more details and arguments, concerning this specific proposal.
And it sends to any direction the message that the Holy Synod will defend with every legitimate way, the clergy’s rights, “who, especially during the last years, offer many and varied services towards the society and the man. The spiritual, social, welfare and cultural work of the Parishes of Crete, with the care of the clergy, will not cease to act for the good of the people and our country, with awareness of the duty and of the mission of the Church of Crete”.