Greek bishops attacked with caustic liquid at meeting, 10 wounded

Victims being treated for burns after the Athens meeting attack, allegedly by a priest facing a disciplinary hearing.

Police officers at the entrance of Petraki Monastery in Athens [Costas Baltas/Reuters]
Police officers at the entrance of Petraki Monastery in Athens [Costas Baltas/Reuters]

Seven senior members of Greece’s Orthodox Church and three other people have been hospitalised with burns after being attacked with a caustic liquid, allegedly by a priest facing a disciplinary hearing, authorities said.

The incident took place on Wednesday at the Petraki Monastery in Greece’s capital, Athens, at a meeting of senior bishops.

The 37-year-old priest, who was facing the hearing for alleged drug-related offences, was arrested unharmed and taken for questioning.

Police identified the victims as the metropolitan bishops Antonios of Glyfada, Kyrillos of Kifissia, Kallinikos of Arta, Nikodimos of Kassandra, Dionysios IV of Zakynthos, Dimitrios of Goumenissis, and Andreas of Dryinoupolis.

A police officer who helped restrain the suspect was also injured, as were a lawyer and a presiding clergyman.

Police said it was not immediately clear what liquid was used, but added that the victims were being treated for burns.

“I express my abhorrence at this unprecedented event,” Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou wrote in a tweet after contacting Archbishop Ieronymos, the leader of the Greek church.

Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias visited an Athens hospital where the bishops were initially treated, joined by Archbishop Ieronymos.

Kikilias said four of the bishops were lightly injured and were receiving first aid. One was transferred to the plastic surgery unit of another hospital and the other two might also be transferred to other hospitals with specialised units, including one with a specialist eye clinic.

He said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had asked for constant updates on the case.

Ieronymos told reporters he was “deeply saddened” by the attack but relieved that none of the injuries was considered by doctors to be life-threatening.

The motives for the attack were not immediately clear. The state-run ERT television reported that the hearing was held as an appeal to depose the priest from the clergy.

Source: News Agencies

More from News
Most Read