Patriarch Bartholomew was not notified about the agreement for the separation of Church and state in Greece

© AFP 2018 / Ozan Counterframe I. Archival photoPatriarch Bartholomew was not notified about the agreement for the separation of Church and state in Greece© 2018 AFP / Ozan Kose

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was not informed of the agreement of the authorities and the Church of Greece on the conditions of the separation of Church and state, according to a blog Fanara – the residence of the Patriarch.

Greece’s 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, November 6, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Jerome and the members of the Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church met to discuss reform and signed a joint statement, which specifies the terms of the separation of Church and state in the framework of the constitutional reform. It was opposed by many Greek priests.

«The Ecumenical Patriarchate has not been informed, although her canonical jurisdiction of the Greek territory», — stated in the message.

The so-called «new lands» (Crete, the Dodecanese Islands, and Northern Greece with Thessaloniki) is a province of the Ottoman Empire, annexed to Greece by the end of the Balkan wars of 1912 — are under the canonical jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, but also participate in the work of the Greek Orthodox Church, here the Church is, in fact, dual power.

«The first official reaction of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was call November 9, Consul General of Greece in Istanbul Sultanpur Georgia, to request from the Athens information about the Jerome agreement and Tsipras,» reports the blog.

On Saturday at the Phanar, the Patriarch will meet with the Minister of education of Greece Kostas Gavroglu, the main topic of discussion will be the agreement on the separation of Church and state, the newspaper writes.

In turn, the Ministry of education of Greece reported that the visit and meeting with the Patriarch was planned earlier.

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