NEWS

Weddings to counter racism

A liberal northern bishop yesterday urged the Church to encourage Greeks to marry non-Caucasians and members of other Christian denominations, outraging other senior churchmen. «We should encourage mixed marriages between Orthodox and other Christians, as this was the Church’s ancient practice from the time of the New Testament,» Ambrosios, Bishop of Servia and Kozani, told the Hierarchy Council, on which all 80 bishops of the Church of Greece sit. «Particular efforts should be made to encourage weddings between native Orthodox believers and non-whites, in order to actively fight racism.» Following angry complaints by conservative bishops, led by Kallinikos of Piraeus, Archbishop Christodoulos decided not to make public Ambrosios’s proposals, and forbade him from speaking to the press. The church leader has repeatedly denounced what he sees as efforts to undermine Greece’s national identity in the name of globalization.