Watch: Pope Francis called ‘heretic’ by elderly Greek Orthodox priest; police quick to pounce

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A Greek Orthodox priest engaged in perhaps some sinful civil disobedience by heckling Pope Francis in Athens on Saturday.

“Pope, you are a heretic,” he reportedly shouted three times as the pontiff entered the residence of Archbishop Ieronymos II, the head of the Orthodox Church in Greece. Cops and security quickly swarmed over the elderly, white-bearded priest who was hustled away after first falling to the ground.

“‘The pope is unacceptable in Greece! He should repent!’ The priest told reporters after being removed from the scene,” according to The Week.

It’s not clear what the cleric specifically had in mind in his one-man, pope protest about alleged heresy.

On the political end of things, Pope Francis — who is spending three days in Greece on a state visit — generally goes along with the left-wing agenda.

“The incident followed small protests against the pope on his previous stop, the island of Cyprus, which is also predominantly Christian Orthodox,” the Associated Press reported.

“But inside Ieronymos’ residence, the two Christian leaders could not have been more friendly with one another and in synch in their shared call for Christians to work together to protect the environment and care for migrants. In contrast to the lone heckling priest, Ieronymos welcomed Francis ‘with a feeling of honor and fraternity,'” the news agency noted.

AP stated that Pope Francis “appeared not to notice” the commotion as he exited, with what appears to be the assistance of handlers, his vehicle to attend the meeting. The pope is scheduled to head back to the Vatican on Monday.


“The incident highlights the distrust between some members of the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic churches that remains nearly a thousand years after the two groups split in 1054. During the visit, Pope Francis reiterated Pope John Paul II’s apology to the Orthodox world for any sins his church had committed against them,” the Washington Examiner recalled.

“The Greek Orthodox Church is one of several autocephalous (self-governing) national churches that make up the larger communion known as the Eastern Orthodox Church,” The Week added. “Some Orthodox Christians have a mostly positive view of Roman Catholicism and continue to hope that the schism might one day be repaired.”

Here’s another view of the brief incident:

Twitter is reacting to what happened in Athens and not everyone is keeping the faith, as it were. Here is a sampling:


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