Comic no joke for archbishop

The head of the Church of Greece joined hardline Greek Orthodox religious groups yesterday in condemning a show in Thessaloniki by stand-up comedian Jimmy Panousis which pokes fun at the Church. «When something mocks everything that is holy and sacred, it is condemnable,» said Archbishop Christodoulos. He was reacting after protesters gathered on Saturday night outside a nightclub in Thessaloniki where Panousis is performing to demand the show be stopped. They also objected to a poster advertising the performance. It shows Panousis dressed as a priest with a medallion hanging around his neck which shows the head of a chicken instead of the Virgin Mary. Panousis, also a composer and musician, has courted controversy in the past. He was given a four-month jail sentence six years ago for defacing the Greek flag in one of his posters by replacing the Orthodox cross on the upper left corner with the communist hammer and sickle.