In a letter to faithful, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Methodios of Boston announced the closure of all parishes in the Metropolis.
The closure will impact hundreds of thousands of Greek Orthodox faithful in 62 parishes throughout New England in the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
In his letter, Metropolitan Methodios touched on new directives from the federal government that encouraged the limit of public gatherings to 10 people in an effort to curb the spread of the deadly Coronavirus.
“In light of the continuing concern for this pandemic, and at the advice of medical experts including the World Health Organization and the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, I direct that all parishes in the metropolis of Boston cancel services until further notice,” according to the letter to parishes and faithful.
Methodios encouraged faithful to follow various internet broadcasts of liturgies and provided a link to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website of live broadcasts.
Boston follows the move of Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago who announced the closure of Churches in the Metropolis of Chicago last Saturday. In Detroit, Metropolitan Nicholas announced that liturgies and services would continue but doors would be locked and faithful should stay home.
Abroad, the response of the Greek Orthodox Church has been scattered.
The Church of Greece refused to cancel Sunday services but an order came down from Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis suspending all services.
The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of France closed all its churches in the country.
The Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Australia has received severe criticism from the country’s Medical Association for keeping his parishes open and even encouraging people to participate by stating that “I responsibly assure every faithful person that up until now in the history of our Church there have never been any cases where an epidemic of infectious disease has been transmitted through Holy Communion.”
Metropolitan Methodios’ letter to faithful is here.
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