Greek prime minister to initiate process of separation of Church from State
June 26, 2018. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras intends to initiate the process of separating the Greek Orthodox Church from the Greek state and revising the relevant article of the Greek constitution, reports Russian Athens with reference to the Greek paper Kathimerini.
According to the Greek publication, within the next month Tsipras will present his plan for the revision of the constitution, including plans to separate the Church from the state, ahead of the expected submission of the SYRIZA proposal to parliament, planned for October.
Tsipras and his advisers are aware that the initiative is likely to cause strong reactions from the Greek Church, although Tsipras believes he will be able to manage the situation. The initiative will be presented as “progressive,” and therefore the prime minister is hoping to receive the support of the centrist party “Movement for Change.”
The project on the separation of Church and state from SYRIZA, the Coalition of the Radical Left, was published about a year ago. The project provides:
That Church and state discretion are fully established with full respect for the Orthodox Church and its historical role;
The explicit fixing of the religious neutrality of the state, recognizing Orthodoxy as an historical religion;
The obligation to guarantee a single political oath for president, prime minister, legislators, judges, and other public officials.
The Holy Synod of the Greek Church has opposed the government’s plans to unilaterally separate the Church from the state. The bishops argued that one political part cannot make such a decision, but only with the support of the people.