"Although the interests and concerns of churches like ours will be secondary for the new government, I think we can be optimistic our possibilities will improve," said Archbishop Nikolaos Printezis, general secretary of Greece's six-member bishops' conference, Jonathan Luxmoore of the Catholic News Service writes in an article published by America magazine.
"This is something very new in our country's history—we must be patient in seeing the results," he said on 28 January.
“Archbishop Printezis said Greece’s new coalition government “appeared determined to treat religious minorities with greater "openness and equality".”
"Up to now, there's been a very obvious division between Orthodox citizens and those of other faiths—if you were Orthodox, all was well, but if you were Catholic or Protestant, it wasn't," said Archbishop Printezis.
"All minorities have faced hardships from the side of the state. But the new government looks ready to take responsibility for the whole Greek people rather than just serving its own interests," he said.
Greek newspapers have predicted that the new prime minister will take actions “to loosen traditional state links with the predominant Orthodox Church, which claims the spiritual loyalty of 97% of the country's 11 million inhabitants.”
“Mostly foreign Catholics make up just 3% of the population of Greece, whose constitution, amended in 2008, declares Orthodoxy the ''prevailing religion," prohibits Bible translations without Orthodox consent and requires public office-holders and court plaintiffs to take a religious oath.”