Griechenland: New president takes religious oath of office

Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou was sworn in as Greece’s first female president on Friday, March 13. Though the swearing-in ceremony took place in a nearly empty parliament, thanks to the coronavirus epidemic, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, the President of the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church, was in attendance and participated in the ceremony. Unlike a number of top government representatives in recent years, President Sakellaropoulou took the traditional religious oath of office, as she had previously announced she would, reports the site of the Greek Orthodox Church.

Before taking office, presidents of Greece are to swear an oath before Parliament: "I swear in the name of the Holy, Consubstantial and Indivisible Trinity to safeguard the Constitution and the laws, to ensure their faithful observance, to defend the national independence and territorial integrity of the Country, to protect the rights and liberties of the Greeks and to serve the general interest and the progress of the Greek People."

Abp. Ieronymos first said a prayer and then read the oath, which Sakellaropoulou repeated with her hand on the Gospel book. She also took an oath to defend the country’s borders and human rights. The oath-taking protocol was signed by the new President, Abp. Ieronymos, the President of the Chamber, and the Prime Minister.

Former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, an atheist, refused to swear the religious oath on the Bible in 2015, and in 2018, a number of ministers were sworn in without the presence of any representative of the Greek Orthodox Church, taking a purely civil oath—the first such occurrence since the founding of the Hellenic State in 1941. (Quelle: www.orthochristian.com, 17. März 2020)

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