Bishop cleared as court miscalculates trial date

A Patras court yesterday cleared the local Orthodox bishop of slander against an Old Calendrist abbot, accepting that he had meant no harm in claiming the monastery was a den of iniquity. Grigorios Aghiokyprianitis, abbot of the Monastery of Kyprianos and Justine in the western Peloponnesian region of Elis, was unable to attend the process as he was scheduled to hold a New Year’s Day service with his monks. The 100,000 or so Old Calendrists’ Julian Calendar is 13 days behind the more accurate Gregorian Calendar, which was adopted by the rest of Greece in 1923. Germanos, Bishop of Elis, admitted yesterday that he had publicly called the abbot a «false priest» and claimed that his monastery was used «by young people to satisfy their sexual urges.» But Germanos said no malice was involved, and that he had just been trying to protect his flock. Both their careers have been built around the ethnic divisions which briefly turned Cyprus into a battleground of the Mediterranean in the 1970s.