Church out of politics (just)

Archbishop Christodoulos, who has placed himself squarely in the center of political developments since his election as primate of the Church of Greece nearly six years ago, said yesterday that the Church had ordered clerics to keep away from all pre-election gatherings in order to avoid influencing their congregants in any way. Christodoulos, speaking at a meeting with Greek members of the European Parliament, went on to argue that members of the Church had every right to an opinion. He accused journalists of picking on him for expressing political views while allowing «other pressure groups» to get away without a mention, the Athens News Agency reported. In 2001, when he led a crusade against the government’s decision to scrap the mention of religion on identity cards, Christodoulos had warned that the Church would take this into consideration in the next elections. Christodoulos was pessimistic over the resumption of talks on the Cyprus issue, saying the next three months would be the Cypriot people’s most difficult period.