Challenging times for the Church

Archbishop Ieronymos's reaction to the government's new program for religion studies in Greek schools - which he called "unacceptable and dangerous" - was expected and quite correct from the head of the Church of Greece, though perhaps late in coming, reactive rather than proactive and quite possibly ineffective.

The rift in ties between Church and state has been smoldering since 1988, when the MPs of PASOK and Greece's two communist parties ratified a law by then education and religious affairs minister Antonis Tritsis that was aimed at restricting the Church's administrative and economic independence. The Tritsis law was never implemented because it foresaw monastery property being conceded to the state and because the abolition of secular participation in metropolitan church councils was only sealed by a draft between then prime minister Andreas Papandreou and Archbishop...

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