Distancing tactics

The stance that the government insists on maintaining during the ongoing Church crisis is incomprehensible; indeed the continual declarations by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and other senior government officials merely show their desire to be disengaged from the problem. Most interestingly of all, politicians from across the spectrum – even the ostensibly conservative ones – have used the scandalous behavior of some clerics as grounds for proposing the separation of Church from State. The Left has every reason to desire the «independence» of the State from the institution representing the dominant religion in Greece. And deputies from the «liberal» wings of New Democracy and PASOK also wish to relieve the State of its connection with the Church of Greece which, they believe, projects anachronistic notions. Most disconcerting, however, is the stance adopted by ruling ND cadres. But those politicians who believe that the Church will be sapped of its power if it is separated from the State are being naive. If such a rift occurs, the Church will most likely be transformed into an institution of incomparable influence and power… …In view of this, it would be preferable for the government to abandon its distancing tactics and to support attempts to purge the Church of corruption…

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