NO WELCOME MAT FOR CARDINAL IN ATHENS
Touches an "Open Wound" for Greek Orthodox
ATHENS, Greece, (ZENIT.org-FIDES).- Cardinal Ignace Moussa Daoud, prefect of the
Congregation for Eastern Churches, will not be able to travel to Athens with the papal entourage
because influential Greek Orthodox don´t want him there.
"He is a ´Uniate,´ we do not want him," radical Orthodox sectors were quoted as saying by the
Vatican news agency Fides.
"If he comes to Athens, Archbishop Christodoulos, Orthodox primate of Greece, should not be
present at the meeting with John Paul II," they said. Until last year, the cardinal was Syriac patriarch
Catholic theologian Yannis Spiteris, of Greek origin and a professor of Orthodox theology, told
Fides: "The phenomenon of the ´Uniates´ is an open wound for the Greek Orthodox Church.
Catholics incorporated in the past in the Orthodox Church -- as happened in Eastern Europe under
Communism -- who later returned to the Catholic Church, are called ´Uniates.´ Their return is
regarded as a betrayal and the fruit of Catholic proselytism."
Much to its chagrin, the Orthodox Church has had to accept the visit of John Paul II on Friday and
Saturday. The Pope will go to Athens at the invitation of Greek President Constantinos
Stephanopoulos. However, Orthodox Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens will not speak at the
welcoming ceremony for the Pope, and he has turned down an invitation to dine at the nunciature in