Third Communiqué concerning the Coronavirus pandemic

As the state of emergency continues in the world, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and in view of Holy and Great Week and Pascha, today, 8 April, the Hierarchs of the Throne in the City gathered at a meeting, during which the following was decided:

1. From the Saturday of Lazarus and onwards, divine services will be held in one Church of each Archdiocesan District of the Archdiocese of Constantinople and in each of the adjacent Metropolises, always behind closed doors, under the care and supervision of the local hierarch and the Patriarchal representative in each District.

2. Modern technology facilitates the pastoral work of the Church, especially under these present, difficult conditions. However, abuse of this cannot be permitted. Therefore, it is recommended that the online broadcasting of these divine services be done only from one Church of each Diocese of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, so as to prevent a new ethos of converting ecclesiastical rites into yet another televised spectacle. At the See of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, televised and online broadcasting will only take place from the Patriarchal Church of the Phanar, where the services will be celebrated by His All-Holiness and the members of the Patriarchal Court.

3. In the Dioceses abroad, all remaining issues will be decided by the local hierarchs, always within the framework of the decisions and directives of the local Governments and Health Authorities.

4. At the Patriarchal Monasteries, as has been decided, all divine services will be celebrated normally by their Brotherhoods, without the attendance of pilgrims from outside.

The Ecumenical Patriarch and the Hierarchy around Him wish a solemn Holy and Great Week and blessed Holy Pascha to all.

Phanar, 8 April 2020

From the Grand Chancellery