Two stories that have recently appeared in the press:
Theophilos III, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, has intervened with Israeli President Peres to grant amnesty to an Israeli in jail. Curiously, the Israeli in question is not a member of his own Church but a Jew: ultra-orthodox Shlomo Benizri, a former Israeli cabinet member, is serving a four-year jail sentence for taking bribes and for breach of trust.
Is Theophilus just a particularly nice man or is this somehow connected to the fact that the Greek Orthodox Church owns very much land in Israel (including the land on which the Knesset, Israel’s parliament is built) and that Shas, Benizri’s party, is a very potent power broker in the country?
The Catholic Church has condemned the French government for attempting to prohibit the wearing of Burqas in public. The Church explained that retaliation on Christians in Muslim countries might follow.
File note for future reference: in dealings with the Vatican - blackmail works.