CLOSING CHURCHES IS “UNJUSTIFIED OFFENSE AGAINST GOD”
Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Georgia
The Georgian Patriarchate issued a strong statement yesterday, both reiterating its call for the faithful to follow necessary sanitary guidelines and responding to those who are attacking the Church’s ancient practices.
In many places where services have continued and the faithful have continued to partake of Holy Communion, those who are ill-disposed to the holy Orthodox faith, including amongst media representatives, are loudly attacking the Church and its hierarchs, accusing them of putting people in danger, such as in Serbia and Ukraine, Romania, and in Georgia as well, as testified to by yesterday’s statement from the Georgian Church.
While calling on the faithful to observe heightened sanitary practices, the Georgian Patriarchate asserts strongly that a ban on Church attendance is an unjustified offense against God, and that those who reject the Church’s Communion practices thereby reject Christ Himself. “The current situation with the new Corona virus is said to be exacerbated,” causing false attacks against the Church despite its own efforts to adhere to and enforce the standards of the state and the National Center or Disease Control as much as possible, the statement begins.
The Georgian Church continues to urge:
That those who are sick stay at home until they are completely healed, and that people maintain a distance of 2 meters from one another inside churches and 1.5 meters outside;
That priests divide the faithful between services on different days, indicating who should come when, to avoid large crowding;