by Metropolitan Photios of Demetrias
Our Church, in its official texts from the beginning of the coronavirus, has pointed out that:
- “…measures to limit the freedom of citizens should not exceed the appropriate duration, neither should they be characterized by asymmetry and excess” (14/27 April 2020).
- “The unsettling situation of this infectious disease should not be made a pretext for a permanent or long-term curtailment of the citizens’ basic freedoms on behalf of the governments, nor for the promotion of the plans of globalism, nor for the imposition of obligatory medical acts on the citizens without their free consent. Recently, the European Council (2361/2021) ratified that vaccination not be mandatory, and declared in favor of the non-introduction of any discrimination against those who do not wish to be vaccinated.” (5/18 February 2021).
- “We insist on the right to objective information from every side and on the right of every citizen to make his or her own voluntary decision on this matter, without pressure. Neither mandates nor incentives are the best means of persuading the people. We believe that vaccination should NOT be obligatory for any category of citizens, and we regard as unacceptable any form of discrimination against those vaccinated or those not vaccinated. (1/14 August 2021).
- “We hope that it be understood, that mandatory vaccinations bring irreversible results from the citizens’ reaction and should be lifted in the immediate future.” (9/22 November 2021).
Mandatory vaccination in other countries has created waves of violent reactions, which proves the creation of polarization among the citizens. Other countries wisely chose not to impose mandatory vaccination and had better results on the issue of the epidemic. Humbly, we think that the choice of the Greek Government to impose mandatory vaccination on the health-workers deprived the health system of many personnel who would greatly help in the struggle that takes place in the already short-staffed units of the country. Knowing this, our brothers and sisters, the Cypriots, did not impose such a kind of mandate.
The toughest measure, however, is the imposition of mandatory vaccination with the threat of a fine of 100 € on the elderly over 60 years of age. Many of them are bed-ridden and do not go about in public, therefore they do not run the risk of exposure. This is a radical measure which, according to many constitutional experts, is unconstitutional, but until it is lifted, sufficient pressure will have been exerted, and the Government is likely to achieve its goal.
However, it turns out that about 300,000 of our fellow citizens over the age of 60 are still resisting. Those who, out of indifference, or negligence, had not been vaccinated, have done so by now. Those who have not done so are either those who consider the vaccine to be dangerous, or those who do not want to succumb to the pressures, and threats of an authoritarian regime. They are not going to be inoculated even if they are subjected to torture, because for the former it is a matter of health, and for the latter, it is a matter of principle.
The solution is, for those who are concerned about the issues of the vaccines’ safety, the position of the terrorist news media needs to be replaced with well-rounded, open, and fair information, without restrictions and exclusions, so that the reality can be revealed. The lifting of the mandate will allow those for whom it is a matter of principle to act on the basis of their free will, and not be pressured from above.
Already with the circulation of medicines, and the creation of more vaccination choices that create fewer hesitations for the citizens, the situation can be alleviated. Therefore we think it is time for the vaccine mandates to cease, and to return to the former freedom and peace among our fellow citizens.
What is the benefit of escaping the pandemic, and having been transformed into North Korea?