Church hits back overUkraine blackmail claim


The Church of Greece hit back at claims by former defense minister Panos Kammenos that its recognition of the independence of the Ukrainian Church from the Moscow Patriarchate was done under duress.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Holy Synod said the decision to back the granting of independence by the Ecumenical Patriarchate was taken “absolutely within the canonical and ecclesiastical tradition and has nothing to do with nationalisms and other ‘from above’ interventions as has been propagated by some.”

Kammenos had denounced the decision to recognize the “illegal” church of Ukraine on Tuesday, saying that it had succumbed to “blackmail.”

He added that the decision would infuriate the Russians, who will no longer “guarantee” Greece’s territorial integrity as they had vowed to do so in the “agreements we made with them” in the face of Turkey’s aggression.