February 20, 2005

Europe: Greek Church Approves Reforms Amid Corruption Scandals


[Europe News]: ATHENS, Greece - Tarnished by sex and corruption scandals, Greece's embattled Orthodox Church approved wide-ranging reforms Saturday, including the creation of a special council to examine cases brought against clergymen. The 102-member Holy Synod, the Church's governing council, approved the reforms proposed by Church leader Archbishop Christodoulos, at the end of a two-day emergency summit.

The church's image has been damaged by scandals, sexual revelations surrounding bishops - who take a vow of celibacy - and allegations of involvement in trial-fixing and embezzlement.

On Friday, Christodoulos apologized and asked forgiveness from the Greek nation calling the crisis "particularly grave."

The special council will convene under the auspices of Christodoulos and will include members from Greece's Supreme Court, the Council of State, the country's highest body of legal arbritation and the Auditor's Court.

The creation of the council will be subject to the approval of Greek legislators. The summit was a rare move by Christodoulos as the full Synod normally meets every October.

Posted by kshaw at February 20, 2005 05:18 AM