Recently, on account of the
outbreak of the pandemic of Swine Flu, the matter of
possible transmission of sicknesses through Holy Communion
was also -unnecessarily- brought up. Unfortunately,
with an unbecoming vocabulary, a sarcastic attitude and
argumentation that was not in the least well-meaning, one
more attempt has been made to dismantle our Faith, at a time
when we have no other support to hold on to. So, with this
opportunity, I think it proper to provide certain truths,
which are necessary for preserving the priceless treasure of
our Faith inside us.
Our Church has been
transmitting the grace of Her Mysteries for two thousand
years, in the familiar, very humane and simultaneously
blessed way, for the "healing and therapy of soul and body".
She has never needed to speculate with the contemporary
logic of irreverent doubting, but has been living day to day
with the experience of affirmation of a supreme miracle.
How is it ever possible for communion with God to be a cause
of sickness or even the slightest harm? How is it ever
possible for the Body and the Blood of our Lord and God to
pollute our body and our blood? How is it possible for
a daily experience of over two thousand years to be quashed by
mere rationalism and the cold shallowness of our time?
Faithful people - both
healthy and sick - have been receiving Holy Communion for
centuries, distributed by the same holy Communion spoon -
which is never washed and never disinfected - and never has
anything been observed. Priests who serve in
hospitals, even in hospitals for contagious diseases, all
distribute Holy Communion to the faithful and then consume
the remaining contents of the Chalice with reverence, and
all of them enjoy long lives. Holy Communion is
everything that we as a Church and as people hold holy; it
is the supreme medication for soul and body. That is
likewise the teaching and the experience of our Church.
Those who are distrustful of
the miracle of the Lord's Resurrection, all those who scorn
His birth by a Virgin, all those who deny the fragrance that
emanates from holy relics, all those who show contempt
towards everything holy and sacred, all those who conspire
against our Church, all those who seek to eradicate the
slightest trace of faith from our souls will naturally
strive to exploit the opportunity to also insult the most
sacred mystery of the Divine Eucharist.
The fact that the
Anglicans and the Catholics have decided for
precautionary reasons to cease the distribution of Holy Communion in England and New Zealand respectively,
if true, is not a show of
prudence and freedom - as some would maintain - but instead,
it actually highlights
in the best possible way the huge distance between our
Church, which is eucharistic in Her theology and Her life
and who lives, believes and preaches that Mystery/Sacrament,
and the remaining christian groups, which are indirectly
confessing the absence of Grace and God's signs from their
so-called sacraments, as well as the loss of
their ecclesiastic identity. Life without a
Mystery resembles a serious illness without a remedy.
Unfortunately, the big
problem is not the flu virus - as the Mass Media are wont to
advertise - nor is the virus of worldwide panic - as
supported by the medical unions; it is actually the virus of
irreverence and the microbe of disbelief. And the best
vaccine is our frequent participation in the mystery of Holy
Communion, "with a clean conscience" and an
"irreprehensible" one. Our response to this unholy
provocation of our time is our very way of life.
It would be advisable, if our
spiritual fathers could exhort the
faithful (with due discernment, and provided
there are no spiritual obstacles)
to receive Holy Communion more frequently during these
difficult times, while those of us who already
have our spiritual fathers' blessings should also approach
the Cup of Life more frequently. but always "with the fear
of God, very much faith and sincere love".
from the Physics Department of the University of
degree in Astrophysics from Harvard University in Boston.
degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in Boston.
degree of Theological Studies from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox
School of Theology.
degree of Theology from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of
Doctoral Degree from Harvard University. Specialized in
Biomedical Engineering (Bio-fluid dynamics).
Doctoral Degree from Aristotelian University of
Thessaloniki, School of Theology. Specialized in Bioethics.
Horonary Doctoral Degree from Univesrity of Athens, School
of Theology (Science and Religion).
research fellow for various hospitals in Boston and as a
consultant in space medical technology for Arthur D. Little
1988, went to Mount Athos, and since May 1990 to April 2004
served as a priest-monk at the Athonite Metochion of
the Ascension in Athens.
course «Hemodynamics Pathophysiology of Vascular Diseases»
at the Medical School of Crete.
Director of the Hellenic Center for Biomedical Ethics.
President of the Bioethics Committee of the Church of Greece
and member of the National Bioethics Committee.
and ordinated Metropolitan of Mesogaea and Lavraeotica,
April 30th, 2004.