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13 July, 2024
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Greek Independence Day to gauge church's stance on same-sex marriage

Same-sex marriage law puts Greece's church-state relationship to the test

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

Greece’s Independence Day on March 25 and Greek Orthodox Easter on May 3 will serve as a barometer of the Church’s response to legislation passed by Parliament institutionalizing same sex marriage.

Easter is traditionally celebrated with splendor at the Athens Metropolitan Cathedral and attended by the country’s president and top political representatives. It is followed by a customary meal in the Church’s honor at the Presidential Mansion.

However, given the Church’s resentment over the timing of the legislation and Archbishop Ieronymos’ annoyance with both President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis over the issue, there are reportedly thoughts among the hierarchy of not holding the official celebration this year. Moreover, the archbishop may also skip the president’s luncheon.

Regarding the Independence Day anniversary, the archbishop and many prelates are mulling not attending the parade and not paying tribute to political figures during the official ceremony.

“Local communities are in an uproar. The government has, perhaps, not realized the level of resentment, how much bigger it is compared to the big cities,” a bishop was recently quoted as saying.

The question is whether and how much all this can affect the European elections in June, as ballots are often cast to vent discontent. There is already talk of gains by parties to the right of ruling New Democracy, particularly in northern Greece. The Church can also exert influence on the vote, while there are more than a few clerics who believe that a message of opposition to the bill’s ratification should be sent.

Cyprus  |  LGBT  |  marriage  |  law  |  Greece  |  church  |  government

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