The two-day work of the Permanent Holy Synod of the 166th Synodical Period, under the presidency of the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Hieronymos, was completed on Tuesday (11/10).
During the two sessions, according to the relevant announcement, the BIS:
- He was informed about the letter of thanks from the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew regarding the expression of sympathy of the Church of Greece for the devastating fire at the expatriate Valouklis Nursing Home.
- He accepted the resignation of the Metropolitan of Achaia Athanasios from the position of director of the Office of the Representation of the Church of Greece in the European Union. “BIS expressed its warm thanks to His Excellency for his more than twenty years of valuable services in this critical position». Following the proposal of its Blessed President, he appointed Archimandrite Apostolos Kavaliotis, until then director of the European Liaison Office of the Holy Archdiocese of Athens, in his place.
- He was informed about the report of the Metropolitan of Xanthi and Peritherio Panteleimonos, overseer of the Metropolis of Drama, about the event of handing over and receiving the Evangelist manuscript of the 10th century, which took place on September 29 at the Holy Monastery of Panagia Eikosifonissa of the Metropolis of Drama.
- He approved the proposal of Metropolitan Chalkidos Chrysostomos regarding the awarding of the Golden Cross of the Apostle Paul to the philological teacher and scholar of the work of Alexandros Papadiamantis, Nikolaos D. Triantafyllopoulos.
- He approved the sending of a letter to the Minister of Health, Athanasios Pleuris, on the issue of suspended health workers.
- Following a proposal from Metropolitan Fthiotidos Simeon, Archbishop Ieronymos will officiate at the first solemn celebration of the most canonized Saint Bessarios of Agathonitos at the Holy Monastery of Agathonos, on Sunday, January 22, 2023.
- His Beatitude, as the relevant and competent Pastor of the Archdiocese of Athens, informed the members of the BIS about the case of I.N. Agioi Isidoron Lycabettus, which falls under his pastoral and canonical responsibility.
- Also, following the proposal of the Blessed President, the BIS appointed:
Archimandrite Damaskinos Petrakos, among the synodal officials, Secretary in addition to the Chief Secretary.
Archimandrite Nikodimos Athanasios, Protosygelo of the Metropolis of Ilio, Acharna and Petropolis, Secretary in addition to the Chief Secretary.
Archimandrite Theokletos Mentis, Secretary of the Special Synodal Committee on Cultural Identity, among the synodal officials.
Among the synodal employees, Protoprestor Emmanuel Papamikroulis, Secretary of the Synodal Subcommittee on Scholarships.
In addition, according to the announcement:
«Regarding the condemnation of Greece by the European Court of Human Rights, following an appeal by the Church of Greece for the refusal to restore the town-planning status of the properties of Vouliagmeni, the Permanent Holy Synod, having the responsibility of correctly informing about the actions of the Church of Greece and in order to restore the truth regarding a decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), clarifies the following:
The Church of Greece was vindicated on 2.6.2022 by the European Court of Justice (ECtHR), which unanimously accepted its appeal and ruled that it constitutes a violation of Article 6 par. 1 (on fair trial) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) the refusal of the Greek State for 20 years to comply with the decisions of the Greek administrative courts and to restore the church properties in Vouliagmeni to the urban status they had before they were declared under expropriation.
The leadership of the Municipality of Vari, Voula, Vouliagmeni issued (6.10.2022) an inaccurate announcement, characterizing the ECtHR’s decision condemning the Greek State as a defeat for the Church of Greece. It is completely silent that the main request of the appeal was accepted and is limited to the fact that the ECtHR rejected an ancillary request of the appeal for an award of just (monetary) satisfaction, which the announcement inaccurately characterizes as a request for “reparation of the alleged pecuniary damage”. The restitution of the property damage suffered by the Church of Greece was not requested before the ECtHR nor had it been brought up to date before the Greek courts and will be decided by them in the future. Both the Greek State and the Municipality of BBB, which proposed massive expropriations of church properties since 1980 and have never paid compensation to date, were sentenced to pay fines by the administrative courts (2012), because they refuse to restore the properties to the urban planning status that they had before the declaration of their expropriations, which have now been lifted. On 21.7.2021, the Municipality of BBB recommended the re-declaration of expropriation against properties belonging to the Church of Greece, presenting the unheard of opinion that it is legally possible to expropriate them without compensation, in complete violation of the Constitution and international legislation. The central government agencies did not accept this illegal suggestion.
The Church of Greece hopes that after its vindication at the ECtHR, the Greek State and the Municipality of BBB will honor the principle of the Rule of Law. He expects that they will put an end to the flagrant injustice against church property, which must be utilized by the Church for the benefit of Greek society, and above all that they will not burden tax-paying citizens, insisting on actions and omissions, which have been judged illegal by decisions of European Court of Justice and the Greek Judiciary».
Finally, the BIS approved secondments of clergy, dealt with issues of Holy Metropolises, Synodal Committees and current service issues.