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Thursday, 13 July 2017

Paxos, Greece - from the Paxos Archives: Some Ecclesiastical Scandals (1808, 1832)

From the Paxos Archives (To Archeio Paxon), Vol. 2, by Yiannis Doikas, Corfu, 1978; edited by Spyros Katsaros:

The Corfiot Archbishop's condemnation of six Paxiot priests for their scandalous and inappropriate behaviour ("most of them nearly illiterate", they "wear the cloth because they don't want to work", and, as a result of their bad behaviour, they are instructed to stop wearing the cassock and to relinquish all their religious duties with immediate effect) - June, 1808:

The six Paxiot priests mentioned are Theodoros Bogdanos, Spiridon Fanariotis, Demetrios Kouvvaras, Ignatios Velianitis, Dimarkis Kalodikis and Anastasios Kondaris.

The Monk, Benjamin Zerbas

Rough translation:

"The simple, venerable monk Benjamin Zerbas, who had returned from the Holy Mountain (Aghion Oros), became a monk on the picturesque island of Panagia, Paxos. In 1827 he served a sentence, probably outside the monastery, for some crime, unknown to us. He came back again, to live quietly with five other monks. It was his bad luck to be accused by the other monks of stealing the monastery's gold. A sensitive man, Benjamin Zerbas hanged himself from the central oil candle-holder (candelabra) in the monastery church. That was the tragic and unjust end of the monk Benjamin Zerbas (in 1832)".

The suicide of the monk Benjamin Zerbas is also related in the story Μακαρία Μοναχή ("Makaria the Nun"), in Spiros Bogdanos' new collection of short stories, Η ΔΕΠΑΙΝΑ ΚΑΙ ΑΛΛΑ ΠΑΞΙΝΑ ΔΙΗΓΗΜΑΤΑ, 2016 ("Depaina and other Paxiot Stories"). Recommended!

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