- A priest orchestrated an acid attack on seven Bishops in Athens
- The perpetrator was arrested by authorities after the acid attack
Athens’ Petraki Monastery was the scene of an almost unbelievable crime on Wednesday as a priest who apparently was on trial and being threatened with laicization threw acid at seven Metropolitans who were sitting in judgment of him.
The 37-year-old priest and hieromonk has now been arrested and is in custody.
The seven metropolitans were immediately transported to Laiko Hospital in Athens while a police officer who ran to apprehend the priest was transferred to the 401 Military Hospital in the Greek capital.
A synodal court session was taking place today in Athens, tasked with the laicization of the priest, reportedly for drug charges.
The Metropolitans of Kassandreia, Nikodimos, Artis Kallinikos, Andreas of Dryinoupolis , Dionysios IV of Zakynthos, Kyrillos of Kifissia, Dimitrios of Goumenissa and Antonios of Glyfada are reportedly among those who were injured in the ghastly attack.
Two lawyers who had been present at the hearing were also injured in the acid attack.
The proceedings came to a halt after the man stormed the building, which is where the Holy Synod always holds their meetings, and attacked the seven prelates.
According to ELAS, the metropolitans were treated at the Laiko Hospital for burns, while the police officer is being treated at the 401 Military Hospital.
The victims were taken to local hospitals, where three bishops are said to be in a serious condition.
“Fortunately we avoided the worst,” said Ieronymos, the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, after the incident.
He told the press that the 37-year-old priest was being tried “for acts that did not match his function.”
Acid attack shocking, unprecedented
According to initial information available, the priest, who was reportedly being tried for a drug offense and was about to be removed from his position, threw acid at the seven Metropolitans, who were transported to the hospital.
The perpetrator had a bottle of acid with him and threw it against the metropolitans, striking them in the hands and face. Two of the Metropolitans are suffering from more serious injuries.
It appears at the present time that they are not in danger.
A group of four, possibly more, guards finally managed to arrest the priest.
The Monastery of the Holy Incorporeal Taxiarchs (Άγιοι Ασώματοι Ταξιάρχες), commonly known as Petraki Monastery (Μονή Πετράκη, “Monastery of Petrakis”), is a Byzantine-era monastery in Ampelokipoi, Athens.
It serves as the seat of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, where all major decisions are taken by the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, along with other metropolitans.
The monastery’s katholikon, a cross-in-square church of the Constantinopolitan type, dates back to the 10th century. It was recorded during the Ottoman years as a stauropegic monastery and a metochion of the Karea Monastery, located on Mount Hymettus.
It was also known as tou Koukoupoule (τοῦ Κουκουπουλῆ), but received its current popular name in 1673, following its renovation by Parthenios Petrakis.
The Petraki Monastery is a treasure of Byzantine hagiography created by George Markou the Argeius, a prolific post-Byzantine ecclesiastic iconographer of the 18th century.
This is a developing story