PM Tsipras – Archbishop Ieronymos stress Church self-sufficiency and collaboration with State
The principle of the Greek State’s religious neutrality guarantees the separate roles of State and Church in Greece and their collaboration on issues of joint interest, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday, at a joint press conference with Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece.
“This principle is not at odds with our people’s long traditions,” he said, neither is there any truth in in the “lies purposely spread lately about a so-called tearing down of historic symbols, like the cross from the Greek flag and from our national symbols.”
During the press conference with Ieronymos Tsipras read a joint agreement to bring Church assets under a jointly managed fund and take priests out of the State payroll.
Everything about the so-called fabulous riches of the Church are a myth, Ieronymos said on his side, and noted that the agreement will make the Church operate better and more effective in serving its flock. He also thanked Tsipras for “leaving the preamble of the Greek Constitution as our fathers wrote it,” referring to the role of the Church in Greece.
“We shall proceed in a spirit of self-sufficiency and collaboration, and make the Church a better servant to the will of the people,” the Archbishop said.