July 3, 1954

THE CHURCH AND KAZANTZAKIS: The Holy Synod issued the following statement yesterday morning with regard to the books by the writer Nikos Kazantzakis: «The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, following the recent publication of books by the Greek writer Mr Nikolaos Kazantzakis, ‘Freedom or Death’ and ‘The Last Temptation of Christ,’ and the resulting uproar among the faithful, and conscious of its responsibility to protect its flock, will take steps to call the writer to order. Since these books sneer at the doctrines and moral teachings of the Orthodox Church, particularly the second book which distorts and insults the divinely inspired Gospel and attacks in the most disrespectful and unholy manner the divinity of Our Lord, particularly during the Passion on the Cross, the Holy Synod advises its flock to avoid reading these books as not only are they of no benefit, but they also use artful techniques to poison the soul. As for the writer himself, the Holy Synod is referring the case to the appropriate ecclesiastical authority (…).» We have heard the writer is to be called to testify before the Church of Crete, the island which is his place of birth. If this is not possible, it is likely that he will be called before a Synod committee.