Doctored machine translation from this Russian article
Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Hieronymos dismissed 52 parish priests of the Greek capital
In late September, the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Jerome [Hieronymos] laid off 52 parish priests in Athesns because of failure to comply with directives, according to "Sedmitsa.Ru" citing "Dveri.Bg."
The reason for the layoff of so many of the Greek capital's parish priests has been the clerics' failure failure to submit by the end of August reports on the state of the parishes they head and their pastoral, administrative and financial activity.
At a meeting of the diocesan clergy on Sept. 30, the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Greece said that he will no longer tolerate ineffectual management (mismanagement) of churches, abuse (of position) and neglect of his directives.
Instead of getting an invitation to participate in the meeting of the clergy of the Greek capital, 52 of Athens' parish priests were directed to submit their resignations. Moreover, some of the guilty occupy important positions in the administration of the Holy Synod, or are considered to be close to the Archbishop.
Those close to the head of the Church of Greece reported that "His Beatitude will consider each case individually and decide on each individual."
The laid off priests consider the severity of their diocesan head to be excessive and try to acquit themselves, blaming the summer vacation season.
In an interview on the radio of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Jerome explained he was determined to put an end to having an irresponsible attitude towards fulfilling one's duties in his diocese: "In the Archdioce and in the Holy Synod I would like to have to have conscientious co-workers, not vassals."
Expressing dissatisfaction with the work of many Athens' parishes, Archbishop Jerome said: "Appointing the priest to public service is not in the office of Metropolitan. It is not appointing an administrative minister. At its center, it is the Sacrament in the Church, near the Holy Table. The relationship between the bishop and the priest -- a relationship which begins at the altar of sacrifice and ends with the altar of sacrifice. What connects with the bishop and a cleric is unity in Christ's name. Whenever this relationship is destroyed or weakened, an internal crisis begins and the crisis becomes visible in the life of the parishes. "
The Archbishop noted with regret that business is among the activities of the clergy, despite the fact that, in his opinion, it is impossible for a priest to be a professional and not have sacrificial spirit.
Archbishop Jerome said that he sent a letter to each priest asking to outline his plans, challenges, possible ways the the Archbishop could and, on the other hand, possible ways they could help the Archbishop.
"I want them to be my assistants in our common cause. The Holy Table [trapeza] calls to go out of the church to see people who do not go to church and to embrace them. Parishes, together with the Archbishop should see the problems of these people, and this is possible only if there is mutual trust between the Archbishop and those administering the parishes"- said the Primate of the Church of Greece.
"We are not far away, and rely on those who administer parishes ... There is that which indeed "is"; there is also that which "appears to be". And it is in our power to choose. And that really is - is preferable. The Church does not need help of journalists. It necessary to work, and not be interested in one's image and advertising."