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Greek Bishops in debate about succession October 10, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Media Radio TV, Religion & Faith.
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Arguments over Greece’s Archbishop Christodoulos

Bishops who attended the meeting of the Church of Greece’s Holy Synod yesterday began discussing the possibility of electing a successor to Archbishop Christodoulos, as doctors debated whether he had received the most suitable treatment for his liver cancer.

The Βishop of Zakynthos, Chrysostomos, was the first member of the Holy Synod to publicly suggest that the Church of Greece needs to begin discussion of who will replace the Αrchbishop. «It is absolutely natural for the discussion about a successor to begin since the Αrchbishop is suffering from an incurable disease,» said Chrysostomos.

Archbishop Christodoulos’s liver transplant in the USA was aborted on Monday after it was found that his cancer has spread to his stomach. The 68-year-old Αrchbishop will now undergo a different treatment.

«We will wait for the developments, which have been rapid,» said Chrysostomos. «When you have a situation like this, you cannot wait until the last minute to prepare.» Some Βishops objected to this discussion. The Βishop of Lemnos, Ierotheos, described the talk as being «unseemly, untimely and unethical.»

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios, the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians, also issued a statement saying that it was «not right» to discuss the Archbishop’s successor while he is still alive.

There were also arguments between doctors on TV shows yesterday about whether the decision to line the Archbishop up for a liver transplant rather than have him undergo some form of chemotherapy was the correct one.

The Athens Medical Association (ISA) urged its members to «exercise restraint» and follow the medical code of ethics when making statements about the Archbishop. «Everyone is free to present their views at scientific conferences or forums, not on television,» said ISA President Sotiris Rigakis. The Association of Hospital Doctors of Athens and Piraeus (EINAP) issued a statement saying that this type of behavior from doctors risked shaking people’s confidence in the medical profession.

Private television channels have sunk to new depths of vulgarity. After the television trials, it’s now the turn of live medical councils. Ever since the bad news emerged about Archbishop Christodouols’s operation, all the commercial networks, with only one exception, have staged a horror show, posing extremely important questions to media-savvy doctors.

But what can be said of a diagnosis that is made thousands of kilometers away? And how reliable can certain doctors be when they are exercising their profession in front of the television cameras? It’s not the news bulletins that are being discredited over the past few days. That’s old news. The casualty this time is medical science itself. Unfortunately, this media stance has been castigated only by the Union of Athens-Piraeus Hospital Doctors (EINAP), while the Athens Medical Association failed to condemn the incident. Human pain is once again subject to exploitation as a means to boost TV ratings. Sure, there is no ban on being inhuman but it’s time people showed some resistance. Those who have some respect for the country and their fellow citizens ought to reach for their remote controls.

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