The Greek priests demanded to cancel the agreement of the Church

© RIA Novosti / Gennady Melnikovskaya temple in Greece. Archival photoThe Greek priests demanded to cancel the agreement of the Church© RIA Novosti / Gennady Melnik

Influential the organization of the Greek priests, the Holy Union of the clergy of Greece (ISKE) demands to cancel the agreement signed by the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Hieronymus and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, on the terms of the separation of Church and state.

The ruling party coalition of the radical left SYRIZA on 2 October submitted to Parliament a draft of constitutional amendments that propose to «upgrade» article 3 of the Constitution and to entrench the religious neutrality of the state, while maintaining «historical and practical reasons, the recognition of the Orthodox Church as the dominant religion.» Similar changes for the country in which 98% call themselves Orthodox, are revolutionary.

On Tuesday, Alexis Tsipras, Archbishop Hieronymus and the members of the Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church at the meeting discussed the reform and signed a joint statement, which specifies the terms of the separation of Church and state in the framework of the constitutional reform.

ISKE, which includes 9 thousand Greek priests out of about 11 million, calls for the prominent metropolitans of the Church of Greece to cancel the agreement.

«The Union will fight to remain as a contractual obligation of the state in the payment of the clergy, as now, as an exchange that gave the Church to the state,» the statement says ISKE.

The priests said that their «opposition is massive and unprecedented in the history of Greece.» «Simple priest from Crete to Evros, and from the Ionian Islands to the Dodecanese Islands will rise and be with us to fight not only for the rights of the clergy, but also for the preservation of our Greek Orthodox tradition,» said the Union.

The priests said they feel betrayed. «We also urge people living in dark days, to support the clergy and the Church of our homeland,» — said in a statement.