by Fr. Elias Villis | Ελληνικά | ру́сский
When Archbishop Elpidophoros submitted an encyclical regarding COVID-19 to his faithful on behalf of the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, what I found more scandalous and tragic than the pandemic itself was the judgmental and self-righteous voice from so many “faithful” (both clergy/hierarchs and laity) who spoke against those who were afraid to approach the chalice because of fear of catching a disease or spreading it.
Among the most troubling comments I’ve seen are: “If you believe that you will get sick by partaking of Holy Communion, you are in sin and should not approach.” And another: “How can you believe that the Body and Blood of Christ can make you sick?”
Are these really the kinds of comments that lead us to God? Is the pandemic some sort of spiritual contest where we need are going to prove to the social-media world just how much more faith we have than others?Continue reading