Sputniknnews – 8/1/21
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Greek Bishop Ieronymos of Kalavryta and Aigialeia and his predecessor, Amvrosios, have been fined for conducting an outdoor ceremony of blessing of the water in western Greece as the country celebrates the feast of Epiphany amid coronavirus-related restrictions, Greek media reported Wednesday.
Earlier in the week, the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church ordered its churches to remain open for the holiday on Wednesday, despite the nationwide lockdown against COVID-19, while banning marches, litanies and blessing of the water ceremonies. The last one involves a priest throwing a cross into the water and the faithful trying to return it.
According to the in.gr news website, former Bishop Amvrosios and his successor gave a blessing to the sea waters in the town of Aigio after a divine liturgy by throwing a cross into the water. Two people jumped into the water to retrieve it. Bishop Ieronymos is said to have been fined some $1,850 for the ceremony, while the two swimmers were charged $370 each.
On January 6, Greece celebrates Epiphany or the baptism of Jesus Christ.