In English

Exclusive: Paris Greek Orthodox Cathedral evacuated after bomb threat

ORTHODOXIA.INFO | PARIS: George Ferdis Worshippers at the St Stefanos Greek Orthodox cathedral in Paris had a brief encounter Saturday morning with an alleged terrorist plot during the celebratory divine liturgy in which Archimandrite Maximos Pafilis was ordained to the episcopate.

According to orthodoxia.info correspondent Giorgos Ferdis, in Paris to cover the ordination, just when the ceremony was about to begin a member of the French counter-terrorism squad entered the church and asked Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, who was standing at the royal gate before the altar, to stop the liturgy so that the building could be evacuated.

Authorities had identified a suspicious object at the cathedral’s entrance, a red suitcase to be exact, which they suspected was a bomb.

The church was evacuated following the authorities’ request and the congregation together with the clergy, many of whom had come to Paris from Greece for the ordination, were led to a secure location.

The French counter-terrorism squad sent a special robot to dispose of the object, which in the end turned out not to be a bomb.

Once the authorities were able to rule out any further danger, they departed the scene, allowing the congregation and clergy to return to the cathedral for the liturgy to resume and the ordination to take place.

Translation by Evangelos Nicolaidis

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