No actors at the altar?

Agence France-Presse reports that the Greek Orthodox Church is including actors among the professions that would make unsuitable candidates for the clergy. Apparently the Greeks regard acting as a “most soul-corrupting and harmful” vocation.

Hmmm. If the Roman Catholics had followed this rule, they would have deprived themselves of one of their best Popes.

FWIW, other professions barred from the Greek Orthodox clergy include “wine-shop keepers, members of the armed forces and, given a recent embarrassing series of corruption scandals, politicans and lawyers.” Gynecologists and coroners need not apply, either. However, appointment to the clergy is open to “farmers, fishermen, beekeepers, candle-makers, carpenters and cobblers,” as well as men who work in more modern fields like “seismology, meteorology, biology and astronomy.”

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  • what about film critics?

  • Candlemakers and beekeepers — that makes a lot of sense if you’ve ever been inside a Greek Orthodox place of worship. The Church, undoubtedly the number-one consumer of beeswax candles in Greece, appears to sustain both industries.

    On the other hand, wouldn’t the Church consume a fair amount of wine in celebrating the sacrament? So what’s with the ban on wine-shop keepers?

    It’s a little curious that they exclude members of the armed forces. Most if not all Greek males are required to serve therein — I think it’s 18 months. It must be just career soldiers the Church has decided it doesn’t like. One wonders, then, why St. George, a soldier, is so popular in Greece.

    I’m quite aware that any of these professions can be “soul-corrupting and harmful,” but then, so can biology and astronomy, at least for the practitioners thereof who think their professions have disproved the existence of God. I’m not convinced that any of them are necessarily soul-corrupting and harmful in the way that, say, pornography, organized crime, and prostitution are likely to be.

    And where is the idea of redemption — the notion that a new vocation can ameliorate the harmful effects of the old one? Sure, Jesus called a lot of fishermen to be his apostles, but he also called a politician and a tax collector.

  • Hmm. I’ve wondered if there shouldn’t be some moratorium on actors running for president…

  • Not to mention movie producers, baseball team owners, and oilmen?