NEWS

Carnival awaits monk float to clergy dismay

As revelers prepare to wheel out a float satirizing a senior monk at the heart of the Vatopedi land exchange scandal this weekend for the culmination of Carnival celebrations in the central port of Patras, clerics say the effigy is an unfair blow against all priests. «It is an affront to the clergy, to the Church, to Orthodoxy,» said Timotheos Papastavrou, a member of a local religious group that appealed for the float to be banned. «Does a child who attends the parade know Ephraim or what he did? He just sees the clergy being ridiculed,» he added. Thessaloniki’s outspoken Bishop Anthimos said the float’s inclusion in the parade was «a very grave mistake.» Patras’s Deputy Mayor Alexis Skarmeas defended the move. «Our intention is not to offend the Church but to satirize and not condemn a particular individual for specific activities with political ramifications.»