Ieronymos steers clear of politics

Archbishop Ieronymos yesterday called for the Church to stay away from politics in a comment aimed at the head of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s Orthodox Church as well as Greek holy men who want to interfere in foreign affairs. The head of Greece’s Church was responding to comments by FYROM’s Archbishop Stephan. He had suggested over the weekend that Thessaloniki was the Balkan country’s heartland. «That’s what happens when people exceed their role,» Ieronymos said. «The Church is supposed to unite people.» Sources close to the archbishop said the comment was also aimed at critics in the Church of Greece who feel that Ieronymos is not as active as he should be in foreign affairs. Earlier this year, he made it clear he was against the Church’s involvement in gatherings to protest the name dispute with Greece’s northern neighbor. His position was applauded yesterday by PASOK leader George Papandreou, who said he was in full agreement with Ieronymos’s view on the separation of Church and state.