The Primate of Greece, Archbishop Ieronymos announced his resignation on Sunday (December 9) from the Archbishopric throne in Athens Cathedral because of attacks against him from "ecclesiastic and political circles".
GV EXT Athens Cathedral
CU Archbishop Ieronymos
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Background: The Primate of Greece, Archbishop Ieronymos announced his resignation on Sunday (December 9) from the Archbishopric throne in Athens Cathedral because of attacks against him from "ecclesiastic and political circles".
The 67-year-old Prelate, who became head of the Greek Orthodox Church shortly after the 1967 Army coup, told the congregation that Sunday's service was his last official function as Archbishop.
He explained, in a sermon, which was broadcast live, that many of his enemies had come form these who had lost profits because of his efforts to raise the standard of the Greek Orthodox clergy.
Other enemies, he said, had come from the world of politicians. "Many thought that the Archbishop should belong to political parties. The Archbishop works for the Church and the nation. He does not belong to parties or to persons. He stands beyond party policies and persons", he said.
At that point the live broadcast from the Cathedral was interrupted for what were said to be technical reasons.
The leaders of the military coup of November 25 ignored Archbishop Ieronymos and asked Bishop Serafim of Ioannina to swear in General Phaodon Gizikis as President of the Republic, and also the new Cabinet.
Archbishop Ieronumos protested and claimed that another prelate had usurped his vested authority. But the Holy Synod - the Church administrative body - rejected the complaint.
Now Bishop Serafim is considered the most likely candidate to be the new Archbishop of Greece.