Communion Banned in Toronto, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Complies

DanielH

Robin
Watch the video of this priest explaining to his flock why they cannot partake in the Body and Blood of our Savior:
A scandal on top of this is that the Metropolitan, His Eminence Metropolitan Archbishop Sotirios Athanassoulas has extended the ban on communion to not only Toronto, but to all of Canada. The only way for some Orthodox Canadians to receive communion now is to go to Serbian or Russian church probably hours or days away. Has a Metropolitan ever capitulated so much for such a small threat against himself? The Patriarch of Moscow once capitulated to the Soviets in saying that what is good for the USSR is good for the Church and vice versa, and this betrayal has been condemned to the point of getting a heresy named after himself, Sergianism. How much worse is this capitulation! There isn't even a threat to His Eminence's life.

Is there a precedent for this? What should the laity do? I understand that obedience to the bishop is important, but there was a time when the laity saved the Church. When all Orthodox present at the Council of Florence except for Saint Mark of Ephesus agreed to reunite with Rome, it was the laity who denounced this decision and ultimately had it overturned. Unfortunately I'm afraid we don't have the unified laity that we once had. My Greek Orthodox priest recently said that it feels like Revelation (Apokalypsi) times. I have to agree with him.

As for myself, my Greek Orthodox home parish is now cut down to 1/8th capacity due to following state rules. Even this I view as a scandal. I am forced to go across state lines, to another jurisdiction, to receive Communion most of the time now.
Also, disease does not spread through the Body and Blood of Christ. He doesn't make us sick. This has been explained to my parish by my priest many times. Scientific studies even confirm that there is no correlation between partaking in communion and becoming sick. If you could get sick from it, the priest would have every disease known to man since he drinks what is left of the Eucharist at he end of the liturgy.
 

Roosh

Cardinal
Even worse is that communion was cancelled in part due to its own parishioners snitching to the government.
However, letters published by the Greek Community of Toronto (GCT), a charitable organization that owns and operates four churches in Toronto, testify that the ban was instigated by the organization and parishioners of the churches themselves, while the city seemed to be laxer on enforcing the requirements.
 
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The greek churches are still closed down here in the greater-phoenix-area. I'm lucky to be a chanter, because I still get to attend the services in person. Might His Eminence be trying to communicate something to his flock by doing this? Banning communion in an entire country, especially one as vast as Canada, is no joke.
 
From Roosh's link:

The GCT also requests written confirmation that the priests will comply, otherwise the four churches will be shut down, Artemakis warns, and the Archdiocese will be held “liable for not adhering to all the health regulations issued by the City of Toronto and government officials.”

Read the full letter below:



That full letter indicates that it was "a (singular) patron" in only one of the churches ("St Demetrios").

I know this will not stop the snowball-effect of unavoidable consequences, but perhaps some of you here can take small comfort in knowing that the sell-out was a lone individual.

On top of that, these are four churches run/owned by a secular Greek charitable organization (unless I read that wrong) - the 'sell-out' may not even have been a Regular/Devout, just some troublemaking transient busybody.

Again, though, the damage is done.
 
Is there a precedent for this? What should the laity do? I understand that obedience to the bishop is important, but there was a time when the laity saved the Church.
You could email your bishop, and politely and respectfully ask if he'd consider allowing the churches to continue services as usual, explaining why. He might be under the impression that he's doing what the laity want. But this is something that it would be best to ask your priest before doing, especially since you have a good priest.

If your priest is forbidden to hold services, you could also invite your fellow-parishioners to your house to pray the Typica on Sunday mornings, and Matins if you have the necessary books.
 
People sometimes encourage me to become a priest, or ask why I haven't already started that path. The answer is simple: faced with these kinds of threats, I would continue holding services, in total defiance of both secular authorities and faithless bishops, and get defrocked within a couple of months anyway. So I'll spare them the trouble and just stay laity instead.
 

DanielH

Robin
People sometimes encourage me to become a priest, or ask why I haven't already started that path. The answer is simple: faced with these kinds of threats, I would continue holding services, in total defiance of both secular authorities and faithless bishops, and get defrocked within a couple of months anyway. So I'll spare them the trouble and just stay laity instead.
Same boat, Brother! From the books I've read about monastics and how to live an Orthodox life, I don't think I have the humility or the obedience to live the life of a priest yet.
 

Roosh

Cardinal
People sometimes encourage me to become a priest, or ask why I haven't already started that path. The answer is simple: faced with these kinds of threats, I would continue holding services, in total defiance of both secular authorities and faithless bishops, and get defrocked within a couple of months anyway. So I'll spare them the trouble and just stay laity instead.
Unless you can rise up the ranks and become a bishop!
 

911

Peacock
Gold Member
They could mitigate any risks substantially by holding services outdoors, it's a viable alternative that isn;t being promoted because the real goal is to disrupt services, those measures are drafted by hostile bureaucrats.
 

Max Roscoe

Woodpecker
They could mitigate any risks substantially by holding services outdoors, it's a viable alternative that isn;t being promoted because the real goal is to disrupt services, those measures are drafted by hostile bureaucrats.
Yes, this seems like it could be a parable in the Bible, had the priest just used some creative wordplay. "Oh, but we did not hold holy communion. You see, the aspect of _____ was not performed, so I did not actually perform communion". Or " Instead my church and parishioners went outside to pray and they received the blood of Christ but not the body"

Maybe that would have actually been sacrilege, I'm not an expert, but you get my point... Render unto Caesar while still doing the right thing. These Jewish groups are definitely using pilpul to still worship in defiance of orders. Couldn't we come up with SOMETHING other than "OK Massah Sorry Massah"
 

Aboulia

Robin
People sometimes encourage me to become a priest, or ask why I haven't already started that path. The answer is simple: faced with these kinds of threats, I would continue holding services, in total defiance of both secular authorities and faithless bishops, and get defrocked within a couple of months anyway. So I'll spare them the trouble and just stay laity instead.
-If the priests at your parish don't actually believe the faith, why are you there?
-A defrocking for holding Divine Liturgy would never be legitimate, and would be a defrocking by those denying the faith. Just move to a synod that professes the Orthodox faith.
-It's a heavy calling, perhaps you'd be a good priest, try, and who knows, maybe the laity would fight for you, and perhaps you'd deepen people's faith by example if you're a pious man

They could mitigate any risks substantially by holding services outdoors, it's a viable alternative that isn;t being promoted because the real goal is to disrupt services, those measures are drafted by hostile bureaucrats.
That's actually a step in the wrong direction, for it sets the frame that a tyrannical government's restrictions on worship are valid. They have zero right to tell people how to worship God.
 
As for myself, my Greek Orthodox home parish is now cut down to 1/8th capacity due to following state rules. Even this I view as a scandal. I am forced to go across state lines, to another jurisdiction, to receive Communion most of the time now.
On last Sunday, I wanted to attend the Liturgy of the local Russian Orthodox Church and they didn't let me in. They didn't open the door, and I spoke through the door to the man who said that they are too full and I need to register before I come. He asked me if I was Orthodox and I said no, but interested in the faith. We talked a little back and forth but, in the end, he didn't let me in. I was sad and angry. How can Christians be so pussified? Even if the police would storm the church building and check on everybody, aren't we supposed to be stronger than that? Hypocrites, all of them.

Instead I went to a Baptist church I attended the last time a year ago. They spread the seats on three floors, they projected the service through a projector in the basement floor. It felt alien. As with shopping, going to church feels alienating and like a hassle due to everyone's paranoia. I'm sick of the limp-wristedness.

I'm not going to the Orthodox Church again. It is already hard for an outsider to attend service, but this is another level. Do I need to move to Georgia to attend the service normally?
 

Roosh

Cardinal
On last Sunday, I wanted to attend the Liturgy of the local Russian Orthodox Church and they didn't let me in. They didn't open the door, and I spoke through the door to the man who said that they are too full and I need to register before I come. He asked me if I was Orthodox and I said no, but interested in the faith. We talked a little back and forth but, in the end, he didn't let me in. I was sad and angry. How can Christians be so pussified? Even if the police would storm the church building and check on everybody, aren't we supposed to be stronger than that? Hypocrites, all of them.

Instead I went to a Baptist church I attended the last time a year ago. They spread the seats on three floors, they projected the service through a projector in the basement floor. It felt alien. As with shopping, going to church feels alienating and like a hassle due to everyone's paranoia. I'm sick of the limp-wristedness.

I'm not going to the Orthodox Church again. It is already hard for an outsider to attend service, but this is another level. Do I need to move to Georgia to attend the service normally?
There is a lot of anger and pride in your post. Take a step back and examine yourself. Just because someone wrongs us, even a church, doesn't mean that you can fall into sin, especially if you're newer in the faith. Satan may be tempting you: "See, all Christianity is weak. This isn't the path. You don't need it." Increase your prayers.
 

Aboulia

Robin
On last Sunday, I wanted to attend the Liturgy of the local Russian Orthodox Church and they didn't let me in. They didn't open the door, and I spoke through the door to the man who said that they are too full and I need to register before I come. He asked me if I was Orthodox and I said no, but interested in the faith. We talked a little back and forth but, in the end, he didn't let me in. I was sad and angry. How can Christians be so pussified? Even if the police would storm the church building and check on everybody, aren't we supposed to be stronger than that? Hypocrites, all of them.

Instead I went to a Baptist church I attended the last time a year ago. They spread the seats on three floors, they projected the service through a projector in the basement floor. It felt alien. As with shopping, going to church feels alienating and like a hassle due to everyone's paranoia. I'm sick of the limp-wristedness.

I'm not going to the Orthodox Church again. It is already hard for an outsider to attend service, but this is another level. Do I need to move to Georgia to attend the service normally?
I understand that some places have a capacity, and they do not wish to be shut down, for all he knew, you could have been there to cause problems by complaining to authorities about the myriad of potential sanitary/social distancing violations that a picky government bureaucrat would criticize.

And if you really want to be picky about it; for religious reasons non-Orthodox shouldn't even be present inside the church nave during liturgy especially after the Gospel reading.

On the other hand, I understand to a degree. Christ has defeated death, and Christians are not to be scared of death. There are far worse things than physical death. Nor are they to obey arbitrary rules because a legal system says so. I feel your pain though. The regulations are driving me crazy. We just went back from livestreaming to 1/3 church capacity during service. We even had a few people wearing masks during service which really bothers me. I'm not sure which is worse, masks or cameras in the church nave.
 
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There is a lot of anger and pride in your post. Take a step back and examine yourself. Just because someone wrongs us, even a church, doesn't mean that you can fall into sin, especially if you're newer in the faith. Satan may be tempting you: "See, all Christianity is weak. This isn't the path. You don't need it." Increase your prayers.
Roosh, I admire your works but calling everything pride and sinful anger is leading nowhere. Anger is sometimes justified, as is calling out the behavior of Christians for what it is.
 

MajorStyles

Kingfisher
The same people who think it's ok to place your 2-year old estrogen treatment are now concerned about your health and well being. Sure...makes a lot of sense.
 
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