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Orthodox Church, Greeks react to new pope

Published on 06 Jan 2020 / In Youtube Clips

1. Exterior of Athens cathedral
2. Close-up of Greek flag on church
3. Mid shot of church steps and entrance
4. Detail of column
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Haris Konidaris, Director of the Greek Orthodox Church's press office
"The Orthodox Church of Greece and its primate, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos, congratulate the new pope, Benedict XVI, on his election and express the hope that the dialogue between the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church will move on, heal the wounds of the past and open the way for a common future for Christianity."
6. Interior of Athens cathedral
7. Woman bowing and kissing icon
8. Close-up of woman lighting candle
9. Wide of woman lighting candle
10. SOUNDBITE (Greek) Metropolitan Bishop Chrisostomos of Zakynthos:
"He was different as cardinal in Germany than what he is now as pope. This means that then (when he was cardinal), he could have an opinion which today he will be called to re-evaluate. We will see the final result, because if he is as he has appeared up to now, it will be a huge thorn, a great difficulty in continuing the efforts of his predecessors with the Orthodox for convergence, as was the will of Christ."
11. Wide of church under building
12. Mid shot of church
13. Various interior of church with people lighting candles and bowing to icon
14. SOUNDBITE (Greek) Voxpop, name not given:
"This pope doesn't express me. I am indifferent."
15. Various of 11th century Kapnikarea church
16. SOUNDBITE (Greek) Voxpop, Loukas Loukas (in response to question about whether a conservative pope will affect Greek Orthodoxy positively or negatively)
"I think not negatively, because it is said that he's OK with the Orthodox church. It is with the other dogmas that he has a problem."
17. Close-up mosaic at church entrance
18. SOUNDBITE (Greek) Voxpop
"For us Orthodox, I think it will not be good. That is my opinion. I don't know."
19. Wide shot of church


Greek Orthodox officials in Athens on Wednesday welcomed the newly elected pope with optimism, but other faithful were sceptical about whether the rift between the Eastern and Western churches could be mended under the guidance of a conservative pontiff.

The Orthodox split with the Vatican nearly one-thousand years ago in a dispute over papal authority and has accused the Vatican of perceived injustices dating as far back as the 1204 sacking of Constantinople by crusaders.

The city, now Istanbul, was then the seat of the Orthodox Byzantine empire.

While in Athens four years ago, Pope John Paul II issued a landmark apology for Roman Catholic wrongs against Orthodox Christians.

He made repeated gestures of goodwill toward Eastern Christian churches in the later years of his papacy.

The new pope, Benedict XVI, faces a number of issues, including continuing his predecessor's efforts to reach out to those from other faiths.

But the conservative views he expressed as cardinal have raised concerns of closed-mindedness.

The Orthodox Church represents about 97 percent of Greece's 11 (M) million native-born population.

The country's tiny Catholic minority numbers about 50-thousand, while more than 100-thousand Catholic immigrants live there.

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