February 25, 2005

Greek Church leader faces calls to quit

Turkish Daily News

ATHENS - The Associated Press

The head of Greece's powerful Orthodox Church faced calls to resign on Thursday after being further caught up in escalating scandals that have stunned the country.

Pressure on the 66-year-old Archbishop Christodoulos grew following revelations that -- despite earlier denials -- he was acquainted with lower-ranking clergy directly implicated in trial-fixing and other major corruption allegations.

"There is no other solution ... the only thing left for the archbishop to do is resign," Metropolitan Bishop Chrysostomos of Zakynthos, a longtime rival of the church leader, told private Flash radio.

The Orthodox Church, which represents the official state religion and holds vast property assets, has been overwhelmed by daily allegations of embezzlement, corruption and sexual escapades.

The embarrassing saga has been fueled by revelations in both liberal and conservative media, including the nightly broadcast of alleged wiretaps of telephone conversations containing lurid sexual details.

Posted by kshaw at February 25, 2005 07:25 AM