The archbishop of Crete, Irenaios, has written to all of the island’s priests telling them not to ask worshippers to make donations to the Church in return for carrying out a baptism, or marriage and funeral services. It is common for holy men to request cash on such occasions but Irenaios suggested that, given the current economic crisis, the Church should think carefully about its behavior.
“The recent events in Athens carry many messages that we need to contemplate,” he said in a letter sent to all of Crete’s churches. “It is not possible or permissible for church services to be accompanied by a price list,” the archbishop said. “Clerics should not turn into businessmen.”