Greece rejects ‘absolutely false’ report on alleged meddling in American Archdiocese issues

Greece’s Press and Information Office in New York categorically denied on Sunday a report published in The National Herald on Sunday which claimed that the Greek government urged the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to replace Archbishop Demetrios of America, after the bankruptcy of the Archdiocese of America.

“The government of Greece, under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, has never been involved in ecclesiastical matters. Consequently, the Prime Minister, Mr. Alexis Tsipras, and the Foreign Minister, Mr. Nikos Kotzias, never asked the Ecumenical Patriarch to replace Archbishop Demetrios of America,” the office said.

“Similarly, no message regarding the Archdiocese of America was sent to the Ecumenical Patriarch on behalf of the Greek government through the Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Ioannis Amanatidis during his visit to Istanbul,” it added.

The office called on the paper to publish its statement on the “absolutely false, totally unsubstantiated and apparently provocateurish references made above.”

In its report titled “Ecumenical Patriarchate is leaning towards the replacement of Archbishop Demetrios”, the National Herald claimed that the Ecumenical Patriarch was considering replacing Demetrios and that the Greek government pushed in that direction through its Deputy Foreign Minister Amanatidis.

In an article published with the press office’s statement, the paper said it stands by its report.