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Of the 82 Greek Church leaders only eight attended the 'Macedonia' name dispute rally

Archbishop Ieromymos had advised the congregation and leadership to not participate in demonstrations

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24 January 2018

The head of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop of Athens Ieronymos made a statement on the recent 'Macedonia' name dispute rally highlighting that there is a reason why only eight of the 82 Bishops from Holy Synod attended Sunday’s rally in downtown Thessaloniki.

“The question is, what do we prefer? The difficult or the easy things?”, Archbishop Ieronymos asked adding that “I prefer the difficult”.
“That is what expresses me. I will say nothing else."

In the days leading up to the rally and following his meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras the Archbishop had urged Church officials and the faithful to refrain from participating in such demonstrations and instead embrace a more "prudent" attitude towards the issue having clarified that they will not accept a name that includes the term Macedonia or its derivatives.

The Metropolitan of Thessaloniki Anthimos on the other hand, who did participate in the rally, when interviewed by Thema radio 104.6, he insisted that the Church needs to reassess the situation and consider changing its stance on the rallies.

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