February 26, 2005

Bishop resigns, boss stays


After several weeks of scandal, the crisis in the Church of Greece claimed its first victim yesterday as the Bishop of Thessaliotis tendered his resignation but Archbishop Christodoulos maintained he would not stand down, despite some calls for him to do so.

«Every idea imaginable has passed through my mind and I have studied and weighed everything up. Of course I thought about resigning but I finally rejected the idea. I am determined to lead the effort to clean up the Church,» said Christodoulos in an interview shown on private television channel, Alpha, last night.

The head of the Church came under pressure to quit from Chrysostomos, Bishop of Zakynthos, following claims linking him closely with fugitive drug smuggler Apostolos Vavilis and Archimandrite Iakovos Yiossakis, the priest alleged to be at the center of a trial-fixing ring.

Yesterday, Christodoulos again denied sending Vavilis and a retired policeman to oversee the election of Patriarch Irenaios four years ago in Jerusalem. «We did not send them to Jerusalem. That is the truth,» said the archbishop, who admitted seeing Vavilis dressed as a security guard at the Patriarchate. Christodoulos said he did not talk to him at the time and could not recall meeting him again since.

Posted by kshaw at February 26, 2005 07:53 AM