The Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus held an emergency session yesterday to discuss the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, reports OrthoChristian.
Following the session, a communiqué was issued in which the Synod strongly recommends that the faithful receive a coronavirus vaccine if it carries the recommendation of the State Health Services, rejecting any “conspiracy theories” about the vaccine or the existence of the virus.
“Of course, no one will have to be vaccinated,” the statement reads, “but those who decide to be vaccinated should not burden their conscience with ungrounded and unscientific superstitions.”
The Holy Synod, hearing “the cry of the people and sympathizing with them because of the outbreak of a pestilential disease, which afflicts the whole of humanity, was informed by a group of epidemiologists” who informed the hierarchs about the pandemic “in all aspects” and fielded the hierarchs’ questions.
The pandemic is a challenge to man to develop his God-given talents while relying on God to do the rest. In this regard, the Synod strongly recommends that all comply with the orders of the state health services. “We restrict our freedom and rights, even as regards attending church, voluntarily, so that we can protect both ourselves and our fellow man and be free of these restrictions as soon as possible,” the Synodal statement reads.
The Synod also emphasizes that Holy Communion itself can in no way transmit any disease and that it will continue to be administered to the faithful in the traditional way. The hierarchs also remind the faithful of the need to pray and repent in order to be saved from the pandemic.
Following the publication of the communiqué, His Eminence Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou, one of the most outspoken hierarchs of the Church of Cyprus, issued his own statement, explaining his disagreement with the Synodal decision. The decision was not unanimously adopted as was announced, he emphasized.
Last month, Met. Neophytos made a proposal to increase vaccine safety control and alleviate public concerns, calling for the establishment of an independent scientific team by the Church of Cyprus to contribute to the control of all available vaccines. The team of experts would advise the Church of Cyprus in an ongoing manner on which vaccine is the safest for its flock.