Church of Greece to Participate in Context of Religion Textbooks

The joint commission of the Ministry of Education and the Church of Greece have decided that the context of religion textbooks will be co-decided by the Church Hierarchy.

Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos stated that he is particularly pleased with the outcome of the discussions of the Joint Commission of the Ministry of Education and the Church of Greece.

In his speech to the Church of Greece Hierarchy on Tuesday, the Archbishop praised Minister of Education Costas Gavroglou for his stance:

“I have to table a statement by Minister Constantinos Gavroglou personally to me: if there is any problem, we are always ready for the two sides to deal with it.”

As far as the religion lesson is concerned, it seems that all the positions of the Church have been accepted by the education ministry. The excerpt of the suggestion of Archbishop Ieronymos is indicative:

“The Commitee appointed by the Hierarchy, composed of the most eminent Hierarchs Efraim of Hydra, Nikolaos of Mesogaias and Lavreotikis and Chrysostomos of Messinia, worked intensively and diligently and brought us the following information:

1. The debate began on a zero basis, after the abolition of the articles published in the Government Gazette, issues 2906 B and 2920 B of September 13, 2016 proposed by previous education minister Nikos Filis.
2. The Orthodox character of the religion lesson will remain.
3. Interventions, corrections, additions, abstractions, proposals from the Church Committee in the teaching materials were accepted.
4. The material of the textbooks that will be used from the school year 2018-2019 will be at the disposal of the Church for the required dogmatic monitoring.

In addition, Ieronymos recounted what had happened last October regarding the controversy that broke out between the Church and the former minister of education, which led to the intervention of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

The Archbishop also praised the prime minister, who, as Ieronymos said, “in spite of his difficulties and his multilevel duties at a difficult time, invited a presidency meeting on October 5, 2016 to deal with the religion lesson programs.”