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A SYRIZA deputy dressed as a priest scandalized the church

06 January 2014 / 18:01:23  GRReporter
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"It is sad that, in such a critical period for the country, a member of parliament is behaving so unreasonably", Metropolitan Ieronymos noted in his Sunday statement in connection with the act of the SYRIZA deputy.

The development, which provoked an avalanche of reactions, took place at New Year, during the traditional carnival in Argos Orestiko in the region of Kastoria when Vangelis Diamantopoulos was dressed as a priest named "Soura", who "buried" the crisis and blessed the "believers" in the memorandum for their achievements.

In his Sunday appeal, Metropolitan of Thessaloniki Antimos paid particular attention to the development, demanding the resignation of the deputy, "Dressed as a priest and holding a vase in his hands, he blessed the people. He cannot participate in the Holy Sacrament. If I were the leader of his party, I would have expelled him the same day. Can a deputy offend the Orthodox faith? He should resign or the leadership of his party should force him to apologize in public. If he does not repent he will not be saved."

After the Metropolitan of Thessaloniki, other metropolitans spoke out, condemning the deputy’s behaviour.

Metropolitan of Dimitriada Ignatius stated, "The unacceptable, obscene and offensive behaviour of SYRIZA deputy Vangelis Diamantopoulos during the carnival in Argos Orestiko, who chose to express his "political" positions by mocking the clergy and the greatest sacrament of the Orthodox Church, namely the Holy Sacrament, during some of the most holy days of the church, has provoked sadness and disgust in every civilized man. Is this the new morality of the persons and parties, which have the ambition to rule the country? Is the deputy aware of what the consequences of such an act would be in an Islamic country? Does the fact that we live in a free and Christian Greece, where everyone can believe in what he or she wants to, precisely because this is a Christian country, make him think that such disgusting acts are allowed? We are awaiting the official reaction of the party and its leader with great interest."

Metropolitan of Kastoria Seraphim, in turn, said, "In relation to what I read and saw in different websites regarding the carnival in Argos Orestiko I have to say the following:

1. They remind me of the pictures in Russia in 1917 when the Bolsheviks mocked everything sacred to the church.

2. I am ashamed.

3. I am sorry for him and for all those who were involved with him in this masquerade and along with my neighbour, Metropolitan of Sisani and Siatista Pavlos, I am deeply sorry for their "culture".

4. Haven’t they heard me stress that what is sacred for one is to be respected by the others, thereby taking into account the fact that the majority of the people are Orthodox Christians?

5. I wish God to enlighten us and forgive us."

The deputy’s reply

The SYRIZA deputy replied to these accusations as follows:

"The traditional carnival in which I have participated over the past 20 years took place in Argos Orestiko, Kastoria area, on New Year's Eve.

The theme of the carnival was satirical again. We presented the crisis which, according to the government, is coming to its end, and its funeral. I played the role of the priest.

This has provoked negative anonymous comments on the part of several priests and of Metropolitan of Sisani and Siatista Pavlos.

The truth is that I am not very surprised because the church traditionally resents every ancient custom that has managed to live through the ages.

If these reactions were expressed against an ordinary citizen, then we would have been talking about the unacceptable interference on the part of the existing religion in the whole spectrum of public life, in the daily life of citizens. The time when this was possible is called the Middle Ages with all the negative charge carried by the mere mentioning of that era.

The reactions, however, were not directed towards one of the many ordinary citizens who disguise themselves as priests during carnivals but towards me, just because of the fact that I am a deputy.

This raises a very important issue related to the distorted logic of the church that it has the right to intervene in cases which, according to its assessment, have political dimensions, thus trying to form a political reality.

All this really is a different conception of culture, a conception of culture that is different from "my" culture, which is characterized by the adoption of differences, respect for the religious, sexual, political choice of every citizen, as long as this choice does not turn against the people, by freedom of expression, the highest form of which remain satire and self-sarcasm.

However, the main point in the open letter by the Metropolitan of Siatista that went too far was his direct question to the leader of SYRIZA regarding the fact the he has to rule the country along with deputies like me.

For decades, since the creation of the Greek state, some of the priests have confused the church cross with the cross put by voters during elections, thus confusing their flock with the electorate.

Every time the people are called to elect the politicians who will rule them, not according to the instructions of a priest but on the basis of the proposals of these politicians regarding the society they want to create."

The reply of Metropolitan of Sisani Pavlos

"I read the message by deputy Diamantopoulos concerning the developments during the carnival in Kastoria, in which he mentions my personality, and I would like to make some remarks.

Tags: DeputyМasqueradeCarnivalScandalSYRIZA
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