The Hierarchy of the Church of Greece will convene in order to finalise the decisions agreed during the meeting between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos, the Holy Synod announced on Wednesday.
It noted that the two sides had expressed “the mutual intention of the Church of Greece and the Greek State to reach a historic agreement that would take the form of legislative act” but that no agreement was formally clinched or signed on Tuesday.
The aim of the final agreement will be the mutual benefit of the people and the Church, it added, while a “fundamental condition is to protect and completely secure the rights of the clergy.”
In comments as he exited a meeting of the Holy Synod, Archbishop Ieronymos stressed that the clergy had nothing to worry about and that nothing will be decided without taking their concerns into account.
“Yesterday, there was an announcement that we have an intention, a willingness, on the part of the Church and the State to find a solution to problems that have persisted for nearly a century. We all come across them and bypass them every day. This was conveyed to the Synod and we approved it. From now on we must conduct a great effort to explain to our clergy, because it is chiefly they who worry, that anything done we will do together, with all the priests. We will find a way and not do what the Archbishop wants, or what the Synod wants, but what the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece wants and approves, and what the State wants, which has shown its good will,” he explained.
The details of the agreement will be decided with both the clergy and the people “on board”, he said. “We are not doing this to become richer. We are doing it to finally put some things in order,” the Archbishop added, repeating that the “great wealth” of the Church of Greece was largely a myth since its property was not exploited.
As to when the Hierarchy might be convened, he said this would depend but did not rule out a meeting before Christmas.
The Hierarchy of the Church of Greece is comprised of all senior clerics down to the rank of metropolitan.