Greek Churchs Holy Synod unanimously votes to dismiss embattled Metropolitan

Date Published: 08/09/2005

Greek Church’s Holy Synod unanimously votes to dismiss embattled Metropolitan

Members of the Church of Greece’s Holy Synod on Monday unanimously voted to sack embattled Metropolitan of Attica Panteleimon, a high-ranking cleric already suspended since February on allegations of improper and prurient behaviour.

According to the Holy Synod’s spokesman, Metropolitan of Syros Dorotheos, the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Greece’s hierarchy “ascertained that the serious reasons involving his (Panteleimon) person continue to exist…”

The cleric had previously requested, via his attorney, that Monday’s discussion be postponed, something that was also unanimously rejected by the body’s members. Additionally, Panteleimon declined to attend the session.

The Holy Synod meeting was chaired by Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos.

The bishopric of Attica, whose ecclesiastical jurisdiction covers a large swath of the prefecture where the Greek capital is located but not the greater Athens area itself, is among the most influential in the country.

Metropolitan of Attica Panteleimon blamed Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos for the dismissal.

In a statement issued on Monday evening, Panteleimon said that Christodoulos “initiated” his dismissal, which he had “promised to carry out six months ago”.

He also accused the Holy Synod of breaking the law by basing its decision on “false recordings”, evidence which the Holy Synod “had declared inadmissible three years ago”. Panteleimon also said that the legal procedure of taking the case to ecclesiastical court had been bypassed.

He said that he would appeal the decision to the State Council and to the Ecumencial Patriarchate.