Athens, November 16, 2022
The Athens Court of First Instance has convicted an Orthodox newspaper and website in Greece of “publishing absolutely false, slanderous, and abusive claims” against the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.
The newspaper and website Orthodox Typos, owned by the Panhellenic Orthodox Union, has knowingly published false and slanderous texts against the Archdiocese and its ruling hierarch, Archbishop Makarios, the court found, reports the Archdiocese’s vema.com.ua.
The aim of these texts “wasn’t well-intentioned journalistic criticism, but the tarnishing of the work being done in the Holy Archdiocese of Australia,” writes the Vema.
Though the Vema report doesn’t specify which articles and claims in particular the Court dealt with, the Orthodox Typos archives contain a number of articles criticizing Abp. Makarios and the Archdiocese of Australia on a number of issues.
The Archdiocese attempted to resolve the issue without the intervention of the courts, but the outlet persisted, the report states. Thus, in order to protect its people from slanders and misinformation, the Archdiocese appealed to the Greek judicial system, “calling on the slanderers to publicly prove the truth of their claims,” the Church outlet writes.
The court found that the editors of Orthodox Typos never made any attempt to contact the Archdiocese or to corroborate its reports, and because the editors couldn’t provide any evidence of their claims in court, the Court ordered the Panhellenic Orthodox Union and the editor-in-chief of Orthodox Typos to pay $20,860 (20,000 euros) in damages, to cover the Archdiocese’s legal fees, to remove all relevant publications, and to publish an apology to Abp. Makarios.
The Vema also notes that the previous hierarch, Archbishop Stylianos of Australia, who reposed in 2019, also battled with the outlet over its reporting.
The outlet has “lost its way and its orientation,” commented Abp. Makarios. “I wish and pray that they will repent and get busy with their own salvation, because what they’re doing to this day is getting busy with the ‘salvation’ of everyone else.”
The Vema also republished a letter from Archbishop of Seraphim of Athens, who reposed in 1998, to the Greek people, warning about Orthodox Typos.