Senior members of the Greek Orthodox Church have obtained acid burns after a fellow clergyman “sprinkled” them with the chemical. The incident occurred as they gathered to debate the priest’s dismissal over a drug case.
The bishops and their attacker had been having a gathering on Wednesday on the Petraki monastery in Athens, which headquarters the Holy Synod of the Greek Church. The gathering was convened because the priest had been accused of a number of offenses, together with alleged possession of medicine, and was almost certainly to end in his defrocking.
“We had been sitting in line within the massive assembly room for Covid causes, maintaining a distance. A court docket secretary and the perpetrator along with his attorneys had been additionally current,” one of many bishops recalled whereas speaking to native media. “When the choice was introduced, he stood up on the bench and took out a glass bottle with brown liquid from his bag,” he added, saying that from the place he sat – which was at a distance – he judged it to include round two liters of liquid.
Holding the bottle with each arms, he started to sprinkle the room, raining the stinging liquid in any respect us current!
In his recollection of the horrifying occasions, the bishop mentioned the attacker “made round actions” whereas throwing the acid on the senior members of the church. All of them had masks on their faces as a result of pandemic restrictions, which on this case partly protected them not from the lethal coronavirus, however from the burning liquid. “In any other case issues could be a lot worse,” a church member mentioned.
Not less than seven bishops had been hospitalized with accidents, a few of them severe, however “the worst was averted,” the Greek archbishop mentioned whereas visiting the hospital. They’re now handled by plastic surgeons and ophthalmologists. A policeman was additionally harm. The officer was outdoors of the monastery court docket room when the assault passed off, however he rushed to assist when he heard screams. The attacker tried to flee, however the guard managed to cease him, having additionally obtained acid burns. The priest was arrested unhurt and brought into custody in Athens.
“I attacked them as a result of they fired me,” he reportedly instructed the police. He additionally reportedly expressed his intentions of revenge in a Fb submit earlier than the listening to, stating he would “not converse in phrases however in deeds.”
Μαρτυρία για τον 37χρονο: Έτσι μας επιτέθηκε το 2015 ο ιερέας που έριξε το καυστικό υγρό στους Μητροπολίτες https://t.co/3Jjqt4x1aR pic.twitter.com/GLGMBqQGl4
— thestival.gr (@thestival) June 24, 2021
The suspect, mentioned to be between 34 and 38 years previous based mostly on various data, was reportedly ordained in Libya. He then moved to Europe to turn out to be a priest in a village close to town of Veria in northern Greece.
The previous head of parish stands accused of varied offenses, based on native media. After serving as priest for a few yr and a half, issues began to emerge, with folks complaining that he “borrowed” cash from aged locals and didn’t return it, cursed a singer throughout companies, and had mates who “appeared like folks from the underworld,” the Skai media reported. He additionally reportedly threatened to kill the brand new village priest, and attacked journalists who filmed a tradition report in his parish.
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In 2018, the suspect was captured by native police whereas allegedly carrying cocaine beneath his robes. Syringes and medicines have additionally reportedly been discovered at his home. The cocaine was meant for “private use,” the priest reportedly claimed on the time, including that “it was a second of weak spot.”
The church then launched procedures for the troubled priest’s dismissal. They initially determined to defrock him; nonetheless, the suspect had the appropriate to attraction, which he did. The bishops’ assembly on Wednesday was to make a ultimate determination on the priest’s destiny. Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou condemned the assault on Twitter, saying she was “disgusted with this unprecedented incident.”
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