Orthodox response to coronavirus

Blade Runner

Both. I imagine it is state dependent. I know some people that just deal with the mask thing but others have reported it is creepy (what I think, it scandalizes me). The entire situation is ridiculous and will at least be bad until the election, at least. I'm saddened as I find it to be something more deeply dividing us all, as well.
I'm reading Eucharist, Bishop, Church by Metropolitan John Zizioulas, a study of ecclesiology in the early Church. He points out when St. Paul writes to a Eucharistic assembly, he calls it "the Church of God at _____" and ends the letter with a doxology. When he's writing to more than one Eucharistic assembly he calls them "Churches" in the plural, and he refers to the Christian community in general as "the saints."

The Church, the body of Christ, is manifest when we participate in the Eucharist. St. Paul explains it in 1 Cor. 10:16-17: "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread."

Not only was I blown away by how thoroughly the relationship between Church and Eucharist is woven into the New Testament, but it hit me why it's so wrong for us to shut our doors on Sunday mornings. Without the Eucharist, we're not the body of Christ. Rather, we're just the body of Christians. Masks, social distancing, and the like are all issues within the Church. But an empty parish on Sunday mornings isn't a problem within the Church, it's the absence of a Church.

The way forward:
1. Pray for my bishop.
2: If a parish I attend closes, contact my bishop and ask him to reconsider.

We can't blame the hierarchy if we don't pray for them or keep them accountable.


It's strange for me as a novice trying to learn more about Orthodoxy (which is supposed to be the most "based" Christianity) to have many Orthodox congregations bowing to the Satanic COVID paranoia while some Protestant sects are resisting more vigorously. I am thinking in particular of a Black Baptist church that stayed open (with full-throated singing) and a "prosperity doctrine" pastor who is quite keen on resisting.

Blade Runner

Yes, it is curious that certain traits can lead to great theology but if you aren't careful can also get you trapped in a society or culture where things are coming down on you, but you tend to be less bold as an outward manifestation. I think orthodoxy in the modern, wealthy west is like this to a tremendous degree - I'm sad to say. The idea that Christianity should be more ecumenical has been a world movement and it has great influence on the current state of things. The really difficult question that constantly needs to be asked and debated is this very idea and how people have a tendency to be emotional/more feminine about it. That is, should Christians shun exclusivity? I personally don't think so since our history and liturgy has so many elements of being exclusive (catechumens, the doors!, eucharist, etc). These current crises actually show us that so many of our churches were watered down and the worries of the world are far more important for many members that perhaps we realized, or even thought possible. Of course, the retort will always be something along the lines of "Mercy" or "Economia" but - and this is my personality as a male and someone who would also be on this forum - what's the point of diminishing what you are so others can pretend they care?

People are very uncomfortable with this hard reality. I understand it, but for that reason I also think it should be discussed genuinely, and frequently.


Gold Member
No-one dies from anything else now. The media will spin it this way but how did the church comment it?

In his public appearances, the leader of the influential Church, to which most Serbs belong, was very supportive of the political authorities, especially of President Aleksandar Vucic.
In October, the Church awarded President Vucic the Order of Saint Sava, first order, the highest decoration of the Church.
He criticised anti-government protests in Serbia in 2019 against President Vucic, saying that, “what we see in streets today is not good” and that, “it gives strength to our enemies”.
However, he also insisted that the Serbian Orthodox Church would oppose any deal reached between the Belgrade government and authorities in Kosovo, the former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008, if it confirmed Kosovo remaining outside Serbian territory.
Not a good sign. And now he's dead from CV... This stinks.

This possibly explains why although he's biased.
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Unfortunately, there are too many political ties. Also including the support for the lesbian Prime Minister. The only few people I have spoken to about this told me the same, and that the previous Patriarch was more supported by the people. He even used the light rails to commute.


Visited an OCA parish near me because my local GOARCH parish isn't allowing people to come without registering anymore (this parish also made us register but there was still room for us). They gave communicants napkins that they would hold under their faces, then wipe up what was left of the Eucharist and throw it out into a paper Trader Joe's bag. Just about everyone did this except for me and my wife. They used multiple metal spoons and sanitized each spoon after use by dipping it in grain alcohol. They used two full cups of grain alcohol, so safe to assume they're not drinking it afterwards. They seem to heretically believe the Body and Blood of Christ will spread disease, not cure it. Even if they thought communion was just symbolic this would be a travesty. This church also had a female chanter who was wearing slacks, a male dress shirt, and no head covering. My wife and I were very upset by all this. I don't plan on returning.

Hermetic Seal

Gold Member
It is definitely alarming what's happening in GOARCH. I'm sure there are good parishes out there (like Father Barnabas Powell's, I doubt he's happy about any of this) but any newcomers to Orthodoxy would be better advised to visit any other jurisdiction instead if they're not a hundred miles away.