Both Greece's government and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (Istanbul) condemned remarks made on Greek television in December by the Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus.
Seraphim was criticized for saying the Holocaust was orchestrated by Zionists. Leaders of the patriarchate described the religious leader's words as an "egregious anti-Semitic tirade," saying "as persons of Greek heritage, we are appalled. ... He in no way represents either Orthodox Christianity or the Hellenic ideals."
The New York Times on Dec. 24 published an English translation of Seraphim's subsequent clarification, reiterating his views as "personal" and saying he respects "the Jewish people."
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