Orthodox priest shouts ‘Pope, you are a heretic’ at Francis in Athens By Reuters


© Reuters. Pope Francis arrives at the Orthodox Archbishopric of Greece for a assembly with Greek Orthodox church Archbishop Ieronimos in Athens, Greece, December 4, 2021. REUTERS/Louiza Vradi


By Philip Pullella and Karolina Tagaris

ATHENS (Reuters) -An aged Greek Orthodox priest shouted “Pope, you are a heretic” as Pope Francis was coming into the Orthodox Archbishopric in Athens on Saturday and was taken away by police, a reminder of the lingering mistrust between the 2 divided church buildings.


Video confirmed the person, who was dressed in black robes and black hat and had a lengthy white beard, shouting the phrases in Greek exterior the constructing earlier than police bundled him away.

Witnesses stated he shouted loud sufficient for the pope to listen to the commotion. The man appeared to have fallen whereas being taken away and was lifted up by police.

Francis arrived in Greece on Saturday for a three-day go to that Greek Catholics hope will convey the Eastern and Western church buildings nearer collectively.

Christianity cut up into the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox church buildings in 1054 in what’s known as the Great Schism, and for hundreds of years relations have been rocky.


In his deal with to the archbishop, Beatitude Ieronymos II, Francis requested forgiveness in the title of the Roman Catholic Church for its half in the historic wrongs that led to the breakup.

“Tragically, in later occasions we grew aside. Worldly issues poisoned us, weeds of suspicion elevated our distance and we ceased to nurture communion,” Francis instructed Ieronymos, whom he met throughout his first journey to Greece in 2016.

“I really feel the necessity to ask anew for the forgiveness of God and of our brothers and sisters for the errors dedicated by many Catholics,” Francis stated.

Pope John Paul II first requested forgiveness for the Catholic function in the break-up when he visited Greece in 2001.


Catholics and Orthodox have been concerned in dialogue aimed at eventual reunion for many years and cooperate in many social initiatives however the two sides are nonetheless far aside theologically.

“We imagine you have the braveness and the sincerity to look at the failures and omissions of your fathers,” Ieronymos instructed Francis. “Between those that need to be known as Christian brothers, the very best language is, and all the time shall be, honesty.”

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