Archbishop invited to judge play

The playwright who has adapted Cretan novelist Nikos Kazantzakis’s controversial play about Christ’s life for theater yesterday invited Archbishop Christodoulos to the work’s Athens premiere following an outcry by clerics, some from the archbishop’s circle. Strong objections by churchmen in Mesolongi led to the cancellation of a planned performance on Chios of «Christ Recrucified» – which focuses on the story of a man who adopts the role of Christ for a Passion play and is punished by his fellow villagers. Ecclesiastical outbursts elsewhere have caused other towns to reject the play. Playwright Costas Politopoulos condemned «such instances of extreme spiritual obscurantism» which do not represent the views of all clerics and are foreign to the Christian faith and Orthodox tradition. Politopoulos invited the archbishop to attend the play at the Lycabettus theater in Athens next week after reports that churchmen close to the archbishop disapproved of promotional billboards showing the lead, Stratos Tzortzoglou, being kissed by another male actor.