March 01, 2005

Church ponders scandal

GREECE
Kathimerini

Archbishop Christodoulos held a crisis meeting yesterday with a series of bishops and legal advisers to discuss the corruption scandal that has led to the dismissal of one top churchman and the forced resignation of another, while bringing the Church leader under pressure to step down.

Today, the Churchís ruling body, the Holy Synod, is expected to accept Fridayís resignation of Theoklitos, Bishop of Thessaliotis, who is being investigated following allegations by his predecessor that he was detained in the past on suspicion of drug dealing. He has also been accused of having a gay affair.

The resignation of Theoklitos, one of Christodoulosís closest associates in the top Church echelons, followed the suspension of Panteleimon, Bishop of Attica, pending an investigation into claims he tried to influence senior judges. Panteleimon has also been accused of homosexuality, which the Church officially abhors.

Yesterday, Christodoulos, who has refused to resign, met with 10 bishops and three of his legal advisers to discuss the ongoing scandal, which started with allegations that a churchman, Archimandrite Iakovos Yiossakis, was involved in a trial-fixing ring. Sources said the archbishop conveyed the impression that he enjoyed government backing in his handling of the scandal.

Posted by kshaw at March 1, 2005 09:16 AM