Bishop keeps up junta row

Deputy Justice Minister Giorgos Petalotis was involved in a new exchange of barbs with Bishop Amvrosios of Kalavryta on Thursday after he rejected the cleric?s request to visit the only surviving member of the 1967-74 military dictatorship?s hierarchy, Nikos Dertilis, in Korydallos Prison.

Amvrosios and Petalotis clashed last week when the bishop expressed admiration for Dertilis and dismissed the current government as a ?junta.?

Amvrosios kept up the war of words with Petalotis on Thursday by saying his decision to make public his request to visit Dertilis was ?shameless.? The bishop also said that he wanted to ?strike a blow against the establishment.?

The Greek Orthodox Church also seems to be heading for confrontation with the government on a totally different matter as it withdrew its representative from the National Transplant Organization (EOM) on Thursday. The move was designed as a protest against the bill voted through Parliament on June 16 that introduces the principle of ?presumed consent,? which allows a dead person?s organs to be donated without relatives? consent.