April 18, 2014

Church of Greece to State: Keep Priests on the Payroll

syntagma

Source: MSN News | January 17, 2011 ATHENS, Greece - Greece's powerful Orthodox Church urged the government in the crisis-hit country on Monday to relax tough hiring restrictions so it can put more priests on the state payroll. The government last year paid the salaries of 10,800 priests and church staff — who are technically civil servants — out of 757,500 "permanent employees" in the public sector. In 2011, Greece will only hire one new state employee for every five leaving, as part of its euro110-billion (US$146-billion) international bailout loan agreement. And most of those positions will be taken up through mandatory transfers to reduce staff at loss-making state enterprises. The church's governing Holy Synod said Monday that it would request a "limited number" of new priests to cover pressing "operating and pastoral needs." Church leader, Archbishop Ieronymos, urged Greek bishops to make charity programs a priority in 2011 to meet the needs from a surge in … [Read more...]