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Tacit alliance between Orthodox Church leaders and the secular left-wing party

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_24/11/2012_471486 Sunday November 25, 2012 Church, SYRIZA seek understanding Signs that crisis has led
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 24, 2012
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      http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_24/11/2012_471486

      Sunday November 25, 2012

      Church, SYRIZA seek understanding

      Signs that crisis has led to improved relations between two sides
      previously at odds

      Tectonic shifts in the political landscape caused by Greece’s economic
      meltdown have fomented a tacit alliance between Orthodox Church leaders
      and the secular left-wing SYRIZA party, analysts say.

      Poised to win the next parliamentary election, whenever that may take
      place, SYRIZA chief Alexis Tsipras appears keen to build bridges with
      the deeply conservative Church, which, controversially for some, remains
      one of the most influential institutions in the debt-hit country.

      In response to SYRIZA’s rise, analysts say, Archbishop Ieronymos wants
      to establish a platform for discussion with the main opposition, like it
      has with other parties.

      Such rapprochement may come as a surprise considering the two sides’
      differences on a series of key issues, including the separation of
      Church and state – a perennial demand of the liberal faction of Greek
      society.

      Tsipras is not married to his longtime partner and mother of his two
      children, who have not been christened. But after the SYRIZA leader’s
      father Pavlos Tsipras died last month, Ieronymos officiated at the funeral.

      The two sides have recently found common ground in their social work and
      criticism of Greece’s foreign creditors. Leftist officials have also
      welcomed the clergy’s denigration of the neofascist Golden Dawn party.

      “We are very lucky that Ieronymos is archbishop at this difficult
      moment,” Nikos Pappas, a senior SYRIZA figure, told Kathimerini.

      Orthodoxy is recognized by the Greek Constitution as the country’s
      official religion. Surveys suggest about 80 percent of Greeks believe in
      God. This makes them among Europe’s strongest Christians, although many
      are infrequent churchgoers.


      ekathimerini.com , Saturday November 24, 2012 (18:11)
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