It's not only the JWs ...

by Joe Grundy 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • Joe Grundy
    Joe Grundy

    This is from the 'Cyprus Mail' 27 July 2006: AG investigates church sex scandal
    By Constantine Markides

    THE ATTORNEY-General has launched an investigation into accusations levelled against a Limassol bishopric cleric, alleging he has been photographed engaged in sexual activities with a young boy.

    Daily Politis first published the photographs, prompting an uncharacteristic denunciatory response from Limassol Bishop Athanassios, who claimed the photos were fabricated in a “pre-election stunt that will unfortunately backfire on those who sent it off”.

    Archimandrite of the Limassol Bishopric Isaac Macheriotis has responded by filing a libel suit against Politis, and is rumoured to be seeking between £50,000 to £250,000 in damages. The Archimandrite has also secured a court order prohibiting the daily from publishing anything about the personal life of the cleric in question.

    But Politis yesterday defended its move to publish the photos, categorically denying it was part of a plot to taint the Limassol Bishop’s image. The daily claimed representatives of Limassol Bishop Athanassios had “attacked” the newspaper and its journalists “without however offering any evidence that the photographic documents that were published [were] concocted or digitally altered.”

    Politis also claims that experts have digitally analysed the photos and determined that they were originals taken by a mobile phone.

    Attorney General Petros Clerides has allegedly sent a message to the Chief of Police to explore the authenticity of the accusations, although the police press office claim they have no information about the case.

    ‘Smear campaign ahead of elections’

    THE CYPRUS Church has been in limbo for four years, ever since Archbishop Chrysostomos – now formally retired – was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

    In May the Holy Synod finally decided on elections to ordain a new Archbishop, but only after so much turmoil and strife within the Holy Synod that the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church had to finally intervene.

    The electoral process is set to begin on September 24 – after the summer months to ensure the highest possible voter turnout.

    Earlier this month, a new law was established deciding that candidates be listed on ballot slips in alphabetical order instead of in categories and columns – which would indicate the preferences of the representatives who will be electing the Archbishop.

    The Paphos Bishop said that the new ballot law had been established so as not to discriminate against the “elderly and the illiterate”.

    But Kykkos Bishop Nikiforos yesterday said that the rest of the church leaders had voted for the new electoral process in an effort to hurt his chances in the elections since he currently leads in the polls.

    “I did not vote the specific law because it is obvious that it does not ensure a conscientious and smooth electoral process,” Nikiforos told the TV programme ‘Apo Mera Se Mera’ yesterday, adding that the new law was designed to “confuse, torment and dishearten” the voter.

    The main rivals in the forthcoming elections are the Paphos Bishop and his nemesis, the Kykkos Bishop

    Recently the Paphos Bishop indirectly accused the Kykkos Bishop – without referring to him by name – of organising all-inclusive excursions to ensure the support of the elderly in the September elections.

    “One [bishop] has financial prosperity and every weekend sends around 20 to 25 buses, around 1,000 people, and they go on a trip. They eat and drink free from the candidate for the throne.

    “This has been going every weekend for more than two years. Around £10,000 is spent a week. All these old men and women, who are they going to vote for? The old men and uneducated women who don't know any better will vote for him who offers all this to them.”

    Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2006

  • Joe Grundy
    Joe Grundy

    ... and this is from the 'opinion' column of the same issue: Bishops are the Church’s worst enemy

    THE DISHING of dirt has begun, signalling the official commencement of the campaign for the election of a new Archbishop. In the last few days we have read about a priest offering sexual favours to a young man (pictures were even published in Politis, for some inexplicable reason), of a conspiracy by the Holy Synod, allegedly, aimed at undermining the election prospects of the hot favourite, and of a bishop taking pensioners on excursions to win their support in the elections.

    In Cyprus it is not atheists, non-Christians or even rivals of Orthodoxy who bring the Greek Orthodox Church into disrepute – it is the bishops themselves who seem incapable of behaving with any dignity or restraint.

    Nobody could be surprised with what is happening given the bishops’ past record. The ruthlessness displayed in their efforts to destroy other bishops knows no bounds – it is an ‘anything goes’ game where everything is permitted – including the securing of false testimony.
    In Greece, one man was sentenced to three years in prison for falsely claiming he had sexual relations with a Cyprus bishop. Interestingly, several bishops were quick to adopt this false testimony and use it against their colleague. Another bishop has been accused of spending hundreds of thousands of Church pounds to buy political support, while another was dismissed by colleagues as a national traitor. Brotherly love and compassion simply do not exist among the self-serving members of the Holy Synod.

    With two months to go before the elections, the start of the mud-slinging was only a question of time. The pictures of a Limassol Bishopric archimandrite; allegedly (they may have been doctored) involved in a sexual act with a man was a perfect illustration of how the campaign will be conducted.

    Their publication was clearly aimed at tarnishing the supposedly, sinful priest’s superior, Limassol Bishop Athanassios, who has been the victim of several muck campaigns conducted by his colleagues in the past. Who gave these pictures – that should have never been published – to the newspaper if not a rival bishop’s camp?

    Do the candidates not realise that by dishing dirt they are hurting the standing of the Church much more than any of their rivals? People know that a bishop would be behind every mud-slinging episode looking to secure an electoral advantage.

    Voters aren’t silly – actions like these could easily lead them to the conclusion that a bishop willing to stoop so low is unsuitable to be elected Archbishop. This is assuming that the Paphos bishop’s claim, that some of the people who would be voting in the election were of low intelligence, was incorrect.

    With such bishops, it is a miracle that people still go to Church.




    Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2006

  • Crumpet

    Thanks for posting this - was it the in house back biting you meant to point to or the existence of sexual abuse!! LOL!

  • Joe Grundy
    Joe Grundy

    I'm not quite sure why this story reminded me of the WTBTS.

    It could have been the sex, the power-politics, the corruption, the big money, the hypocrisy, the 'holier than thou' attitude, or a combination of all of the above.

    Never having been a JW, perhaps I'm being a little harsh with my comparison (no, I don't really think I am, just being polite).

    No doubt, however, that the JWs on the island who read this will enjoy the continuing exposure of 'Christendom'.

  • blondie

    The point is not whether the WTS/JWs are the only ones with pedophiles in their midst..........that is a given that pedophiles seek out groups with access to children.

    The point is that the WTS policies protect the pedophiles and punish the victims by requiring 2 eyewitnesses to the act of abuse before they will act judicially internally against the accused pedophile. Also, the elders do not report the abuse/abuser to the secular authorities unless directed by the WTS Legal Department to do so and Legal will not direct them to do so unless secular law requires it. JW elders do not have the qualifications or training to investigate a crime (can you imagine a JW elder body investigating a murder in-house and not reporting it to the secular authorities?) Also, elders have hidden the abuse and pressured the victim/family not to go to the authorities. Even convicted JW abusers are neither DF'd or is the congregation warned about their presence even knowing that most abusers reoffend. The elders are forewarned though because when this person moves from congregation to congregation a letter from the elders in his old congregation is sent to the new congregation informing them of his past. So the elders can protect their own children but everyone else's are sheep to the slaughter.


  • Joe Grundy
    Joe Grundy


    I take your point, and this is something I was wholly unaware of until I discovered on this board and other sites. And I think that the vast majority of the public are unaware of it. It is a shameful, disgusting, dangerous and entirely inhuman policy and I condemn it without hesitation or reservation.

    Another question which occurred to me is this. In the UK, anyone who has dealings with children in a formal way (e.g. teachers, Boy Scout leaders, swimming teachers, etc.) has to be vetted for previous convictions. I don't know whether this applies to Sunday School teachers in the various churches or not. I was going to ask whether the same would apply to JWs who are involved with children, perhaps doing 'bible studies'. But I may have answered my own question, because JWs have no specific activities aimed at children, do they? Children have to sit through the 'adult' services/meetings (and in my very limited experience, that's not far from abuse in itself).

    Here, adherence to the GO church is nominally very strong. This is, I believe, the only country in the world where McDonald's serves a special menu during Lent. But the adherence is mainly nominal. The far stronger influence is family (and money). Divorce rates are very low, there are very few single mothers, etc. What actually happens often is that adultery/taking a mistress or lover is condoned as long as it is kept private and does not shame the family overmuch. Reported child abuse is low here, but I suspect that it is far more prevalent than generally believed but 'swept under the carpet'. This island is still reportedly the destination of choice of many 'white slave trade' people traffickers.

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