There was a backlash in Pieria when a priest refused the Holy Communion to disabled children claiming that the children “do not understand.”
The escorts of the children, who visited the military camp site, reported the incident to the president of the Center of Social Welfare of Central Macedonia. Then the president turned to the camp management run by the Greek Army so that the matter would be settled.
The Metropolis of Kitros, Katerini and Platamon immediately responded to this incident by issuing an announcement. It emphasized that the inclusion of all persons with disabilities in the Church’s functional life was an undisputed pastoral priority of Metropolitan Georgios and the clergy of Pieria.
According to the announcement, Metropolitan Georgios is in contact with the military authorities, since the person in question is a military priest, and with all relevant social bodies until the matter is thoroughly investigated.
“According to the sacred rules of the Church, every priest is responsible not only for the preparation of the Holy Communion, but also for its safe offering to the faithful, especially in cases such as patients with serious illness, infants, elders, persons with disabilities, non-Orthodox, etc. That is why the priests who minister to hospitals have this experience, which the priest did not have,” said Metropolis of Kitros, Katerini and Platamon.
The Nereids Camp staff should have communicated with the military priest in good time, and cooperated with him so that he could officiate the Divine Liturgy for the PWD. In this way, there would b no misunderstanding,” concluded the announcement.