I was reading recently how the Pope of Rome has issued a, well, I suppose you can call it a gay-detector test, which would help avoid any future tragic situations. Actually, it’s a test that measures one’s sexual urges, but I found it odd how they first mentioned “homosexual tendencies” then “uncertain sexual identity”, only to finally say, “this document also makes reference to heterosexual urges.” In a sort of “while-we’re-at-it” attitude.
I was reminded (and I don’t exactly know why), of something I read the beginning of this year (luckily I was able to find it). It is regarding a decree issued out to all Greek Orthodox clergy by Archbishop Christodoulos of blessed memory. I found it on a Serbian site and was unable to find anything about it in English, but, for the most part it states:
On the first days of the new year the Greek Orthodox Church has issued a special code of clergy behavior. The document is three pages long and signed by the head of the Greek Church, Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Christodoulos.
As is stated, “moral purity, cleanliness and orderliness in dress are a necessity for all clergy.” The new rules dictate that clergy be modest in their dress. Clergy are not permitted to be sloppily dressed nor to wear wrinkled clothes.
Besides this, clergy must not wear clothes with an open collar, white socks or bright colored pants. A special paragraph is dedicated to the rule which obliges clergy not to appear before laity unclad, without their cassock, even when they are in their own yard or balcony.
Henceforth Greek clergy are strictly forbidden to smoke in public. Beside the fact that smoking is hazardous to one’s health, “it is impermissible for the all pious laity to approach the priest in order to kiss his hand and smell tobacco.” Additionally, “clergy are not to cross their legs – perhaps this is relaxing but it is unbecoming for a priest.”
Besides the dress code the rule book states that clergy act with humility, but honorably, “that even when they might be in the right – they not chastise anyone,” that they be very careful behind the wheel. “During conversation a priest should not raise his voice, to insult or exhibit any anger.”