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Greece, Orthodox Church Agree To Take 10,000 Priests Off Payroll

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Greece, Orthodox Church Agree To Take 10,000 Priests Off Payroll
​The deal would end the clergy's status as civil servants.
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Greece's government and the Greek Orthodox Church have agreed Tuesday to remove roughly 10,000 priests and staff from the government's payroll.

Greece's Prime Minister and the Archbishop of the Church of Greece tentatively struck a deal to end the clergy's status as civil servants. Instead, clergy members will be paid through a special fund made up of an annual state subsidy of about $230 million.

Part of the deal also aims to resolve a decades-old property dispute between the state and Orthodox Church.

The agreement still needs approval from both lawmakers and Church leaders, which might be easier said than done. The Association of Greek Clergy said it felt "betrayed" and that rank-and-file clergy weren't consulted prior to the deal.