Thursday, April 14, 2005

State says innocent; Church says blasphemer; Espresso saves the day.



Austrian artist Gerhard Haderer is legally in the clear and his illustrated book, Η Ζωή του Ιησού (The Life of Jesus), translated by Περής Ορφανίδης and published by OXY back in November 2002, will be placed back on the shelves of Greek bookstores around the nation. It is on sale via the OXY website, where readers are now engaging in candid discussion about the book, the banning and the fraudulent activity of Christianity in the free world.

The judge presiding over the artist's appeal yesterday said that the whole thing is a joke and that "no one is in danger of such things", that is, no one is in danger of being pulled up on blasphemy in Greece.

Something I didn't know: the whole thing began with the following front page:



This is the front page of newspaper Espresso on January 18, 2003.

There is Haderer's Jesus pictured. And the headlines read:

THE ABSOLUTE PROVOCATION
Christ goes with women
smokes hash
and goes
surfing.

And in the smaller yellow lettering under the Jesus pic:
They are calling for the prosecuting attorney to intervene in the case of the sacrilegious biographical comic.

Ah! The "they"!

According to Athens Indymedia.org the Espresso newspaper is the "guardian of our Greek-Christian tradition"!

Following Espresso's front page bombast the prosecuting attorney really did prosecute on behalf of the Church and State.

An Athens Indymedia reporter visited Kyriakos Tsouros back in January, after the first court hearing that gave Haderer a six month jail term (in absentia). Kyriakos Tsouros is the secretary of the SYNODAL COMMITEE FOR HERESIES (ΣΥΝΟΔΙΚΗ ΕΠΙΤΡΟΠΗ ΕΠΙ ΤΩΝ ΑΙΡΕΣΕΩΝ).

Tsouros maintains that Haderer's book is blasphemous, but shakes off any Church initiative in the prosecution of the case [refering to the first court case, which found Haderer guilty not the appeal which found him innocent] saying that «Η πρωτοβουλία για τη δίκη με αυτό το αποτέλεσμα δεν ξεκίνησε από την Εκκλησία, αλλά με αυτεπάγγελτη δίωξη του εισαγγελέα». That is, "The initiative for this court hearing did not come from the Church at all, but from an ex officio indictment by the prosecuting attorney."

Reminds me of the January 2004 fiasco over a painting by Belgian artist Thierry de Cordier depicting a wooden cross and a penis with semen dripping from the crucifix, which was displayed at Outlook, a Cultural Olympiad event. Public chaos ensued following statements attacking the work aired on right-winger Karatzaferis's television station. I wrote an article on the event.

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