Clerics’ rights to be shielded
Archbishop Ieronymos yesterday assured clerics in the Greek Orthodox Church that an agreement for the separation of church and state that is under discussion will safeguard their rights. “The agreement will be re-examined, it will go back to the Hierarchy,” Ieronymos said during a visit to the central offices of the Holy Association of Clerics. “The Hierarchy can approve it, amend it or reject it. If it moves ahead, then we can talk about it again.” Ieronymos reached a preliminary agreement last month with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that foresees clerics’ salaries being removed from the state payroll and instead subsidized with public money, the joint development of disputed property and the establishment of a “religion-neutral” state. The agreement has met with staunch opposition from clerics.