The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is reversing decisions by Metropolitans in Boston and Chicago to close parishes and ordering priests throughout the nation– regardless of the directive they have received from their Metropolitan– to continue services with closed doors.
The announcement was made via a letter sent to clergy throughout the United States on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 by Rev. Andreas Vithoulkas, Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
The directive from Archbishop Elpidophoros of America reverses the decisions of Metropolitans Methodios of Boston and Nathanael of Chicago who both ordered the parishes of their Metropolises to close, in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The letter seeks to clarify a sense of confusion as a result of a scattered response of the Church in the United States with some Metropolitans candling services and closing parishes all together, while others continuing as usual.
The strongly-worded letter specifically seeks “to clarify how all services are to be conducted throughout the Archdiocese,” with an emphasis on the word “all” which was italicized in the original letter.
“For all services, including the Divine Liturgy,” the letter continued, only one priest and one chanter will conduct the services; meaning the Faithful will not assemble, but participate virtually via the internet and multimedia. There will be no exceptions to this condition without the express permission of the Archbishop.”
The letter sent to clergy is here.
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