Greek police arrested on Saturday a priest in the island of Kalymnos who was reportedly calling on all faithful through Facebook not to wear a face mask in the church.
Writing on the eve of the the Feast of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, the priest urged churchgoers not to wear the mask as this “would upset” Virgin Mary. “Our mother wants to see our faces. She wants to see our faith,” he wrote on Facebook.
The priest, who has not been named, was taken into custody accused of spreading fake news that endanger public health, following a complaint from a citizen who saw the post.
The priest appeared before a prosecutor in the island of Kos. He was released pending trial set for October 8.
As many experts warn that Greece is facing the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic, strict measures have been imposed to maintain social distancing in churches and monasteries.
Religious processions throughout the country have been banned and all church-goers are obliged to wear face masks. There is also a limit on how many are allowed to attend liturgies in churches or monasteries according to their size.