Jailed ex-bishop may face Church court too

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Date Published: 01/17/2009
Publication: Kathimerini

An internal probe by the Church of Greece into the former bishop of Attica, Panteleimon, serving a six-year sentence for embezzlement in Korydallos jail, has proposed that the cleric be tried by a Church court on a new set of charges.

According to a report compiled by Bishop Serapheim of Karystia after three years of research, Panteleimon should be tried on four counts: setting up an offshore company, having bank accounts with excessively large deposits, scandalizing the faithful and embezzling 195,000 euros from an Attica monastery. On the latter charge, Panteleimon was found guilty by an Athens court in 2006 and jailed. According to sources, Bishop Serapheim has said he carried out his research “responsibly and without any bias or hostility.”

Some in the Holy Synod reportedly have criticized the report for offering scant evidence and relying on the testimony of prosecution witnesses.