February 25, 2005

Sex and drugs and the Orthodox church

The Guardian

Helena Smith
Friday February 25, 2005
The Guardian

The tale has it all: drama, conspiracy and intrigue. No surprise, then, that for the past month every newspaper across Greece has spoken of little else but the scandals besetting the country's Orthodox church. Senior clerics have faced allegations of, among other things, drug dealing, embezzlement and homosexuality.

For the first time in decades, Greece's famously partisan media have put aside their political predilections to get to the bottom of a story that looks set to run and run. What they have come up with is eye-popping stuff.

"Divine comedy," screamed Eleftherotypia from its front page after the church's ruling body held an emergency meeting to discuss how to cope with the revelations. "They're trying to show that they're cleaning themselves up with a series of reforms that are not expected to have any immediate effect," said the centre-left daily.

There was, wrote the conservative tabloid Hora, "no end" to the "rot". The scandal extends throughout the church - and pictures of a 91-year-old bishop naked in bed with a young woman have appeared in the press.

Posted by kshaw at February 25, 2005 07:27 AM