Archbishop Chrysostomos has expressed the wish for his name day to stop being a school holiday, it emerged on Thursday.
The chairman of the theology teachers’ association, part of the Oelmek union Christakis Efstathiou, said the archbishop had asked for his name day – celebrated on November 13 – to stop being a school holiday.
Speaking on Sigma TV, Efstathiou said that the archbishop expressed this wish, during their recent meeting with him to discuss problems faced in the education system.
“He has expressed himself his intention of having the [school] holiday for his name day abolished,” Efstathiou said.
The move comes after opposition by organised groups against schools closing for the archbishop’s name day.
On Thursday, primary and kindergarten teachers group, Prodeftiki, said that they supported the abolition of the school day for the archbishop’s name day, since public schools, they said, “must preserve their secular character, impartiality and neutrality for all children, without discrimination.”
Two years ago, another group of teachers identifying themselves as the Initiative of Teachers Against Racism launched an online petition asking the education ministry to stop celebrating the name day of the archbishop following the latter’s controversial comments on homosexuals.
The group said that the archbishop has “promoted racism, intolerance, hatred and inequality with his unacceptable statements”.
Schools, the group said, must be democratic and give a voice to all children without any discrimination.