Health of Church leader worsens

Doctors have put Archbishop Christodoulos, who is suffering from liver and stomach cancer, under close watch after the sudden deterioration in his health over Christmas. Sources told Kathimerini that the head of the Church of Greece has started displaying frequent lapses in memory and that his liver has almost stopped functioning. Prayers for the health of the archbishop were held during the Christmas Day service at Athens Cathedral. One of the doctors treating Christodoulos told Kathimerini that if the archbishop’s condition continued to worsen, he would have to be moved to the hospital. He is currently being treated at his home in Palaio Psychico, northern Athens. The 68-year-old was due to undergo a liver transplant in the USA earlier this year but it was called off after doctors found that the cancer had spread from his liver to other parts of his stomach. The Greek-American doctor who was due to perform the operation, Andreas Tzakis, is due in Athens today to examine the archbishop. Christodoulos yesterday received the backing of one of the Greek Church’s most influential holy men, Bishop Anthimos of Thessaloniki, who said the archbishop was «an example and an inspiration to us all.» «He is confronting the problems that he has recently faced heroically and with faith in God,» said the Thessaloniki bishop.