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Single parents chastise Church for calling them ‘problematic’

Archbishop Chrysostomos

The single parents’ association on Tuesday chastised the archbishopric for referring to divorced parents as a ‘problematic situation’.

The “outdated rules” were referenced in the in the regulations of a kindergarten the archbishopric is setting up.

The rules, which have been already distributed to parents, stipulate among others that the school ought to be informed “in the case of divorced parents or other problematic situations”.

This reference, the group said, “constitutes illegal discrimination, racist behaviour, hate speech, social stigmatisation, as well as indirect gender discrimination” since 90 per cent of single parents are women.

The school in question, was state-run but has reportedly been transferred to the management of the archbishopric although it is not open yet.

Archbishop Chrysostomos announced in 2016 that the Church was planning to open schools from kindergarten to secondary level. He did not rule out a church-run university either.

The archbishop had said that through its schools the church would introduce “proper education” as state schools are performing poorly.

The association said they are protesting about the unloading of state childcare facilities to other carriers.

It added that single parents are requesting the extension of free childcare facilities or those with low fees and support policies so they are able to work.

“Instead, childcare is transferred to a conservative operational framework,” it said.

The only problem for divorced parents, the group said, is “the poverty and misery experienced by many single-parent families”. It also said that the problems single-parents face are swept under the rug by the government and the “so-called social policy of the Guaranteed Minimum Income”.

If the Church started paying taxes for its businesses, the group said, “the poor, which the church looks down on, might have had better days”.

They also called on the education minister “to promptly recall the religious medieval regulations that find the children of divorced parents to be ‘problematic situations’”.

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