Bishop: All of us were threatened

A dissident bishop outraged the Church of Greece yesterday by claiming that all senior clerics have at some point been blackmailed by journalists, and Archbishop Christodoulos «undoubtedly» knew what was happening. Bishop Chrysostomos of Zakynthos made his allegations to journalists yesterday in the wake of his testimony on Monday before a prosecutor investigating claims that publishers and journalists extorted large sums from top industrialists and senior churchmen. The bishop of Thebes, another leading dissident, has also testified. A spokesman for Christodoulos, Epiphaneios Iconomou, accused Chrysostomos of «malicious demagoguery,» and denied his claims. Bishop Chrysostomos, who caused an uproar in 1998 by giving an interview on premarital sex to the pornographic magazine Penthouse, named three publishers and journalists – Grigoris Michalopoulos, Dionyssis Makris and Z. Tsoukalas – as having asked him for money. He said out of Greece’s 80 bishops «180 have been blackmailed. I denounce those bishops who were blackmailed and did not testify.»