Seraphim Tikas; Greek Orthodox Archbishop
Archbishop Seraphim Tikas, 84, head of Greece’s Orthodox Church. The controversial leader was appointed head of the church in 1974 and was one of the few remaining members of the old guard who guided Greece after the restoration of democracy following the 1967-74 military government. In the mid-1980s, when socialist Premier Andreas Papandreou tried to expropriate the church’s vast land holdings, Seraphim protested and won, retaliating by excommunicating seven government officials. The prelate was ordained a priest in 1938 and promoted to bishop in 1949. During the Nazi occupation in World War II, Seraphim set up soup kitchens, orphanages and schools and later joined resistance fighters in the mountains. On Friday in Athens of kidney disease and a viral infection.