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Ecumenical Patriarch: Coronavirus is not transmitted by Holy Communion

In other languages: GR – BG

The Ecumenical Patriarch made a meaningful and strong intervention today in Constantinople addressing many people on the issue of Holy Communion. He made it crystal clear that the Orthodox Church was not willing to negotiate the issue of changing the way Holy Communion has been offered.

The Ecumenical Patriarch was at the metochion of the Athonite St. Panteleimon’s monastery in Galatas, where, according to the Julian calendar, they commemorated the saint. He said, “There is no danger of contracting the coronavirus in receiving Holy Communion.” He also recalled that the Ecumenical Patriarchate did not change the way Holy Communion is being offered to the faithful.

“I congratulate you for coming to receive Holy Communion, the most important Sacrament. You already know that there has been a debate lately about Holy Communion. We firmly believe that there is no danger of contracting the coronavirus in receiving the Body and Blood of the Lord. That is why we, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, have not changed the way Holy Communion is being offered,” the Ecumenical Patriarch said to the faithful at the Church of St. Panteleimon.

He also addressed the faithful of Russian descent who, despite the decisions of the Russian Church to sever full Communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate due to the issue of the autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine, came to participate in the celebrations for St. Panteleimon. The Ecumenical Patriarch spoke one again, as a sign of reconciliation, of a “blessed meeting between father and children.”

“If the whole pious Russian nation is considered as the spiritual children of the Mother Church in Constantinople, then you, who live here, are considered as our own children since in this place the Russian nation embraced Christianity, and, hence, was enlightened and baptised. That is why I came to you today in order to pray together,” the Ecumenical Patriarch added.

It is recalled that the Ecumenical Patriarch had asked, in a letter he sent to other Heads of Orthodox Churches, to be informed about the stance they would take on the issue of Holy Communion. In addition, he said that he did not think that there was any reason for change. The Heads and the local Synods replied in the same way and, therefore, officially ended the discussion on the issue.

The only Church that chose to follow its own path, even today, was the Russian Church, which introduced the use of different spoons, which would be disinfected with alcohol before and after the offering of Holy Communion to each of the faithful.

Source: Orthodox Times

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