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Archbishop Christodoulos will not pray with John Paul II

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    LITANY OF GRUDGES AWAITS JOHN PAUL II IN ATHENS Greek Church Rules Out Joint Prayer ATHENS, Greece, APR. 27, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Greek Orthodox Archbishop
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 27, 2001
      LITANY OF GRUDGES AWAITS JOHN PAUL II IN ATHENS
      Greek Church Rules Out Joint Prayer

      ATHENS, Greece, APR. 27, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Greek Orthodox Archbishop
      Christodoulos will not pray with John Paul II when he visits Athens next
      week. But he will lecture the Pontiff about 1,000 years of disputes between
      the two Churches, Reuters reported.

      "There will be no joint praying whatsoever," the Holy Synod, the Greek
      Church's administrative body, announced today after a meeting to discuss
      the papal visit.

      Instead, Archbishop Christodoulos has been instructed to spell out for the
      Pope all Orthodox complaints, many stemming from the Great Schism of 1054,
      which resulted in Eastern Churches splitting from Rome.

      "(He) will present with honesty, clarity, theological and historical
      documentation, all issues of dogma, ecclesiastical and theological, which
      cause grief, bitterness and perplexity to the Orthodox world," Holy Synod
      spokesman Metropolitan Efstathios told reporters.

      John Paul and Archbishop Christodoulos, who have never met, will be
      together on three occasions during the May 4-5 visit.

      The archbishop helped the Pope realize his dream of retracing the footsteps
      of Paul in southern Europe by lifting long-standing Orthodox objections to
      the visit last month.

      Still, many conservative Orthodox are angered by the Pope's presence in the
      country. On Wednesday, hundreds of Orthodox faithful marched through the
      streets of Athens to oppose the visit, waving banners reading "Out with the
      Pope" and "Two-horned Heretic.."

      Some Orthodox bishops and the Union of Greek Clerics have also opposed the
      trip, and monks from the all-male Mount Athos community in northern Greece
      are staging all-night vigils tonight to pray against the Pope's arrival.

      The country's 200,000 Catholics, meanwhile, are rejoicing at the first
      visit by a Roman Pontiff to the mostly Orthodox nation of 11 million people
      since the schism. "It is a cause for joy and celebration for all of us,"
      Greece's Catholic Church said in a statement, Reuters noted. The Pope will
      also travel to Syria and Malta, retracing the footsteps of St. Paul.
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