Church leader calls for respite

Author: Staff
Date Published: 02/07/2005

The head of the scandal-mired Church of Greece yesterday pleaded for an end to the flood of allegations of corruption among top churchmen who, he complained yesterday, have become the targets of incessant malicious attacks.

Speaking at a theological conference in Athens, Archbishop Christodoulos conceded that some of the allegations would seem to be true, and are being probed by the Church’s ruling body, the Holy Synod. He contended, however, that things have gone too far.

“The Holy Synod has taken action, but a heavy climate is still being created by those who engage in revelations of scandals that are sometimes true and sometimes concocted,” he said. “What purpose does this daily dragging through the mud serve? What is the point of advance announcements of new revelations? Does this not create a climate of blackmail?”

Rocked by highly public claims senior clerics were involved in a trial-fixing ring — some 20 judges are currently under investigation — the Church moved last week against two bishops accused of involvement in the ring or other scandalous behavior.

Panteleimon, bishop of Attica, was suspended for six months pending an investigation, while Theoklitos, bishop of Thessaliotis, must provide a written defense by tomorrow against charges he was detained by police in a dodgy club on suspicion of drug offenses and that the alleged incident was then hushed up. It has also emerged that Christodoulos sought to win court leniency for an Albanian drug suspect who was close to Theoklitos.