Self-destructive clergy

New evidence is constantly coming to light, plunging senior Greek Orthodox Church clerics deeper into the ongoing crisis. The wide-ranging revelations and allegations about people or affairs related to bishops or their close aides, as well as the daily appearance of clerics on television programs – often shows of bad taste – have put egg on the faces of Church leaders. Some of the diseases that are currently plaguing the body of the Church were seemingly kept hidden from the general public. The archbishop of Athens and the various bishops who are presently mired in the heart of the Church scandal have claimed in public, or in corridor talk, that the Church is the target of sinister forces seeking to undermine its leadership. Some defenders of the Church have gone so far as to argue that the big powers, always keen to promote their own Balkan agenda, are out to tarnish the image of the Orthodox Church, an institution they see as a stumbling block to their regional aspirations. Even if one were willing to believe at least some of these accusations, it is nevertheless hard to ignore the fact that the longstanding policies of the Greek Orthodox elite have themselves inflicted numerous wounds on the body of the Church and made the institution more vulnerable to outside attacks. If Christodoulos, who is not exactly camera-shy, and the high-living bishops had done a competent job in exercising their pastoral duties in full understanding of their delicate responsibility, then no sinister force working through either Apostolos Vavilis or Iakovos Yiossakis could have exposed the heads of the Church to such public disgrace so easily.

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