Filled with fear

One can assume that from the moment Apostolos Vavilis was arrested in Italy, many in Greece and Jerusalem started to sing, late in the day (and in a whisper that not even they could hear), a part from the Akathistos hymn: «I shall open my mouth, and it shall be filled with the Spirit.» To be sure, they sang a different version to suit the circumstances. For should Vavilis open his mouth (let alone his digital archive), they won’t be filled with the Spirit but with fear. None of those who helped him out in the past (churchmen, politicians, police and bureaucrats) will probably feel like rejoicing – as the hymn urges the faithful. Surrounded by the specter of revelations and the ongoing turmoil at the Jerusalem Patriarchate, the atmosphere of devoutness that traditionally goes with Holy Week will be hard to maintain. Regardless of the number of people who will flock to churches in the coming days, the Church’s timid and superficial effort to purge itself of corruption has left egg on the collective face of the clergy. It is sad, but Church officials have yet to make up their minds over the ongoing crisis. Indeed, have we been watching a tragedy or a comedy? «We’ve had enough of this comedy, we’ve had enough of this tragedy,» the archbishop said on Sunday, betraying his ambiguity over the plague as well as the cure. Well, Christodoulos seems to be sure about one thing: The whole affair has been machinated by dark forces that are conspiring against the Orthodox Church. Attributing bishops’ alleged sins to dark conspirators may sound comical; but, deep down, it is tragic. For it confirms that pharisaism is not a rare ill, even among those who strive to portray themselves as its fiercest enemies.

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