Orthodox Priests to Remain on Greek State Payroll



Greek Minister of Education Kostas Gavroglou meets with Church hierarchy in Athens in Tuesday

The Greek government announced on Tuesday that an agreement has been reached between the state and the Orthodox church which keeps priests on the civil service payroll.

Clerics were in an uproar following a provisional plan agreed to in principle last year between Archbishop Ieronymos and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras which would have taken clerics off the Greek state payroll.

The Ministry of Education, which is also responsible for religious issues, announced today that “all concerns expressed, either due to lack of information or misunderstanding, have been refuted.”

The new agreement also includes provisions for the church and the Greek state to jointly develop disputed real estate assets and establish a “religion neutral” state.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Church of Greece and the Ecumenical Patriarchate announced that they were fully in line on the need for clerics to remain on the state payroll. They also declared that they agreed to the constitutional revisions planned by the government, after a meeting was held in Athens between Archbishop Ieronymos and a delegation from the Patriarchate.