Interdiction to Orthodox patients of a hospital to venerate the relics of Saint Barbara
May 10, 2015 the relics of Saint Barbara from the church of Saint Mark in Venice (Italy) arrived in Athens (Greece). It is the first time after 1000 years, due to the 70th anniversary of the Church Foundation “Apostoliki Diakonia”, that the relics of this Saint are in an Orthodox country with the permission of the Roman-Catholic Church. There is the major part of the body of Saint Barbara. The relics will stay in Greece for 14 days and the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece decided that it would be a blessing for the patients of the hospital “Saint Savvas” (a special hospital for patients with cancer) to venerate the relics as romfea reports. This is the only hospital in Greece treating cancer that has both adults and children as patients. The administration of the hospital gave its agreement for this action.
On the 11 of May, in the morning broadcasting on the Greek television, the Parliamentary spokesman of the government party Syriza Mr.Nikolaos Filis said that “this is a practice of the Middle Age and a commercial one”. He also said that if this happened it would be a wrong message for the society and to the patients who will think that medical science is not necessary. He underlined that people should not submit themselves to the logic that the relics can heal the patients. The relics can go to the Church but not to the hospital.
The reaction of the Director of the Press Department of Archbishop Mr.Haris Konidaris was very strong. He said that Mr.Filis is the one who is making a commercial of a left anticlericalism and not the Church and he is trying to limit the freedom of religion which is protected from the Constitution of the country. Mr.Konidaris mentioned that it would be better for Mr.Filis to go himself at the hospital and ask the patients if they want to venerate the holy relics of Saint Barbara. He added that it would be good for him to be taught by the Prime Minister of the country who respects the religious feeling of the Greek people.
Metropolitan of Sidirokastro Makarios reacted also by saying that if Mr. Filis dared to say the same for the Muslims now he would be killed. He also said that the real problem for Mr. Filis is not the transfer of the relics but the fact that crowds are visiting the church to venerate the relics from the moment of the arrival. He mentioned that saints go where people need them and the hospital is the suitable place because people suffer there (video http://www.romfea.gr/epikairotita-xronika/590-sidirokastrou-o-n-filis-an-elege-auta-gia-mousoulmanous-tha-ton-eixan-katharisei ).
The other parliamentarians from different political parties (conservatives and socialists) who were also invited in this morning broadcasting said that it is very important to respect the religious feeling of Greeks.
The left political party “To Potami” (The River) published a sarcastic statement by calling as “a great development of the medical system” the transfer of the relics of Saint Barbara http://topotami.gr/nea/voithia-mas/
The Vice-president of the Greek government Mr. Panos Kammenos answered to Mr. Filis that it is better to venerate the relics of Saint Barbara than doing other things http://www.romfea.gr/diafora/593-panos-kammenos-enantion-n-fili-gia-ta-leipsana-tis-agias-barbaras
Video documents of ΤΗΛΕ Επιλογές