Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece referred to the church property, the Church-State relations, and the payment regime of the clerics on the occasion of the presentation of the book written by Nikos Tombros entitled “Monasticism and the Newly Created Greek State.”
The event took place in the hall of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, attended by the Bishops Iakovos of Thavmakos, Protosyncellus and Bishop of Thespies, Simeon, Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece Archim. Philotheos Theocharis, clergy and laity.
After the event, the Archbishop stressed that “although it seems that the subject of the book has not been of considerable concern to many people, it is a matter that will concentrate our minds over the next number of years, including the State and the Church. We have witnessed a misunderstanding in a church-state debate. It’s too early to say who and what is to blame. Only time will tell. In the debate there was a proposal on the table dubbed agreement in everyday life. There is a difference between proposal and agreement,” the Archbishop underlined.
He also pointed out that “a prime minister after two hundred years of modern history admits, ‘Yes. We took away the Church’s assets. We did not compensate you.’ Isn’t that statement significant?”. The Archbishop added that “in 1939, a law was passed, which stipulated that, if the property was expropriated and the owner did not receive a compensation, then the owner could have his/her property returned. Are we going to disregard or ignore this claim, too?”
He also referred to the properties of the monasteries, stressing that they acquired these properties because they bought them while noting that “every event in history must be assessed not by the current criteria, but the criteria set at that time. So the book will be very beneficial in the years to come.” Regarding the payment regime of the clergy, the Archbishop noted that “clerics are not civil servants. They could never be civil servants not only de facto but also de jure. However, salaries, payment regime, pensions are equated with those of civil servants. Let’s not confuse the two things. So it will happen that the subject of the writer will serve us well in the years ahead.”