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BY 2020.05.01 Conscious Non-Compliance with sanitary standards during the epidemic is a Crime against Neighbors and God!

The Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus Pavel, called on priests and believers to strictly follow sanitary norms and rules that prevent the spread of coronavirus. The statement is posted on the official portal of the Belarusian Orthodox Church.

Metropolitan Pavel

Photo by Sergey Gudzilin

Source in the Russian: https://nashaniva.by/?c=ar&i=250974

“Unfortunately, not all believers in Belarus and children of our Church have responded to the recommendations of the Ministry of Health and called on the leadership of the Church with due attention and obedience. We did not close temples and places to visit on Easter days, urging everyone to follow sanitary norms and precautions, 

careless treatment of our appeals and often irresponsible attitude to the observance of instructions for the prevention of the disease by some clergy led to cases of coronavirus infection in a number of priests, monks and lay people, both parishioners, students of theological schools and ordinary believers. “, – said Paul.

Andrei Lemeshonok and the Covid Outbreak at the Monastery Easter 2020

According to the head of the BOC, most of those who became infected carry the disease in a relatively mild form, but there are those who need to be hospitalized. Some of the priests are in the intensive care units. The clergyman of the Peter and Paul Cathedral in Minsk, priest Gennady Butko, died of the coronavirus on April 29.

– In connection with the difficult situation, I again call on archpriests, pastors, abbots, abbots and all faithful children of the Belarusian Orthodox Church to listen to the appeals of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and the recommendations of the Ministry of Health.

The metropolitan urged to strictly follow sanitary norms: to keep a safe distance during services, to refrain from visiting temples and places of general meeting of people in the presence of signs of illness.

– Remember that careless attitude or deliberate non-compliance with sanitary norms, as well as any calls to ignore the instructions of the Church’s leadership based on the competent opinion of doctors during the epidemic, are not evidence of faith or “standing in the Truth”, but a crime against loved ones. against God.

And everyone will be responsible for these crimes before God according to the
law of the gospel and before the people – according to the laws of the state.

If open disregard for sanitary norms is detected, clerics will be subject to the strictest canon law and may be brought before a church court.

Metropolitan Paul recommends priests perform services based on the situation on the ground. In case of illness of clerics and singers, a reduction in the number of services is allowed. In warm weather, it is recommended to perform public prayers on the street.

In places with a difficult epidemiological situation, the service is conducted without the participation of believers so as not to put people at risk of possible infection.

– Please continue to offer your prayers for the forgiveness of health, strength, and endurance of the doctors who stand in the advanced fight against the epidemic. I urge everyone who has the opportunity to provide all possible moral and material assistance to the Ministry of Health, as well as to the sick and their families.

Let us hope for God’s help and His mercy without losing our sanity and sobriety. I urge everyone to pray for the forgiveness of the speedy recovery of the sick, for the peace of the deceased, and for the forgiveness of patience, strength, and spirit of every inhabitant of Belarus, sincere faith in God, and hope for God’s mercy, – concludes Metropolitan Pavel.

Recently, dozens of cases of coronavirus have been recorded in churches and monasteries. The Minsk Theological Academy and the Church of St. Cyril of Turau in Zhirovichi have been closed for quarantine, 41 people from the monastery and the seminary have been hospitalized, and Archbishop Gury of Navahrudak and Slonim have pneumonia. 

The coronavirus was recorded in St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Minsk, an outbreak of nuns from St. Elizabeth’s Monastery. 

Meanwhile, Metropolitan Paul urged to give up visiting churches before Easter. 

Source: https://nashaniva.by/?c=ar&i=250974

Reviewed Oct. 2023