Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos on Sunday ordered an inquiry into the allegations of abuse linked to the child charity “Kivotos tou Kosmou” – run by a member of the Greek Orthodox clergy, Father Antonios Papanikolaou.
Archbishop Ieronymos said he had ordered an inquiry into the charges and forbidden Father Antonios to exercise priestly duties until the case is tried.
He also stressed that the Athens Archdiocese was in no way connected to the NGO, which had never been placed under the supervision of the archdiocese or cooperated with it in any way.
The Church intends to “deliver the absolute degree of worldly ecclesiastical justice” if the charges are proved to be true, Ieronymos stressed.
“Both we in the Church, as is the rest of Greek society, are shocked to the utmost degree. Whatever the case, the Church will not tolerate and even less cover up shameful and heinous behaviours and actions,” he said.
He added that the Church was at the disposal of the authorities to assist with a full investigation of the case in every way.
The scandal that is shaking and shocking Greece with constant new revelations and denouncements broke out last week when media reported of sexual and physical abuse of minors in the charity.