Bishop walks out of meeting on Church-state agreement


A meeting of the Church of Greece's Hierarchy on a controversial preliminary agreement for redrawing the Church-state relationship got off to a rocky start on Friday, with the metropolitan bishop of Messinia, Chrysostomos, walking out of the proceedings.

Chrysostomos, a vocal opponent of the plan, reportedly departed after being chastised by Archbishop Ieronymos for his overly critical tone.

Earlier, Ieronymos had urged the Hierarchy to approve the preliminary agreement the head of the Church of Greece reached with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras earlier this month, whose main points center on moving clerics off the state's payroll, jointly developing disputed real estate assets and establishing a “religion neutral” state.

He also recommended the establishment of a working committee of legal experts and clerics to consult with the state on the exact parameters of the agreement.