AN ARCHIMANDRITE, Fr. Augustine Kandiotis, has been doing his best recently to stir up Greek Orthodox opinion against the Catholic minority in Greece, and more especially against the tiny section of that minority Which uses the Byzantine Rite.
He attempted to lead a demonstration to protest against the consecration of Bishop Hyacinth Gad, the recently appointed Apostolic Exarch for the Uniates. But the police got wind of this, and the ceremony took place without any incidents occurring.
Then, on the occasion of the anniversary of the Pope's coronation, when Catholics were chanting the Ten Drum in the Latin Cathedral of St. Dionysius, he led a group of more than 300 students of the University of Athens, together with several young monks, in shouting anti-Catholic and antipapal slogans. The police broke up the demonstration, and several of the students were injured.
Fr. Kandiotis has a reputation for fighting zealously against the enemies of the Orthodox Church. He is well-known for his rowdy battles against the Carnival celebrations at Patras, against the beauty-contests held at Athens, and against the Freemasons. according to an article which appeared recently in La Croix,
However, the reaction of the Orthodox world as a whole to the appointment of Bishop Gad is not to be measured by the reaction of one Archimandrite and his followers. Thc article in La Croix describes the new Exarch as highly thought of and liked in Orthodox circles, and says that Rome could not have made a better choice.
The reason for Fr. Kandiotis' dislike of the Uniates, whose role he compares to that of the Trojan horse. might perhaps lie in figures published in this and last year's Annuario Pontificio. While there were, apparently, only 450 Catholics of the Byzantine Rite in Greece in 1950. there are now 1,800.