Friday 23.02.2024 ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑ

"Show respect - not everything is explained by science"

Church
10 Mar 2020 / 07:41

CORFU. Father Themistocles Mourtzanos, High Priest at the Corfu, Paxos & Diapontia Islands Metropolitan Church, gives his views on holy communion and coronavirus.

There has been a lot of discussion and much has been written about the Holy Communion in the light of coronavirus.

Following the Sunday of Orthodoxy, Enimerosi asked the Corfu, Paxos & Diapontia Islands Metropolitan Church to give its views on this controversial topic.

On Sunday there was a large turnout of believers at the Metropolitan Church and Holy Communion was conducted with one spoon for all, as specified in Orthodox tradition - without adapting to current circumstances as, for example, in Romania, where single-use spoons were used.



Father Themistocles Mourtzanos, High Priest at the Corfu, Paxos & Diapontia Islands Metropolitan Church, spoke to Enimerosi and said that on the one hand, the local Church advises those belonging to vulnerable social groups to follow the public guidelines and take care of their health but made it clear that on the other hand, not everything is explained by scientific rationality and he asked that those who believe in the sacrament of the Church be respected.

Father Themistocles said:

"For our Church holy communion is not just a matter of belief. For us holy communion is the Body and Blood of Christ which brings forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

For 2,000 years believers have been taking communion with priests with the same cup.

If all this scaremongering were true, then, first of all, priests wouldn't live very long as they take communion along with the believers and nothing that is left in the holy cup is ever thrown away!

This can not be explained scientifically and for this reason we ask any scientists who attempt to rationalise these things to respect the Church Sacrament that we experience.

They should let us continue as we do and keep our belief separate from their analyses."



Regarding the example of Romania and some of the decisions taken by the Catholic Church, Father Themistocles  told Enimerosi:

"As regards the other preventative measures for the virus, the local Church advises those belonging to vulnerable social groups to follow the public guidelines and take care of their health. If they have a cold, they should stay at home until they are better.

The life of the Church will continue as it has done for so many years. We need more prayer.

The Romanian Church initially decided that whoever was afraid could use a single-use spoon but this was later revoked by the Romanian Patriarch himself. So, for them as well holy communion continues to be taken as our belief and tradition demand.

As regards the Vatican, we have seen any decisions about holy communion. What has happened is that the Pope will speak with anyone who wishes to meet him online - for reasons of safety, we would imagine, as he belongs to one of the vulnerable soicial groups."