Archbishop calls for alert army

Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens yesterday spoke from the pulpit about the need for the country’s armed forces to «be prepared,» sticking to his controversial penchant for political rhetoric. Speaking to the congregation in the Athens suburb of Dafni following a ceremony at an arms factory in which he was given a commemorative plaque by workers, Christodoulos said the Church had the right to express its opinion on everything, including political developments. «When your neighbor does not respect you, then you have to do what is necessary to make him fear you,» he emphasized, adding that Greece’s territorial integrity was at risk «even though certain foreigners and great powers might not know this because they had no experience of it, but we Greeks do.» This was seen as a reference to Greece’s opposition to its allies’ moves to allow Turkey to have a say in an EU force. Christodoulos said that the wars Greece had fought had been for liberation or defense, therefore «the armed forces should continually be on the alert.»