Monk Caught with Nun's Skeleton in Luggage
A monk, along with two other people, was arrested at the Eleftherios Venizelos airport in Athens, Greece after security personnel discovered the remains of a human body in their luggage as they tried to board a flight to Cyprus.
The remains of Eleni Vathiadou, a former nun, were stolen by the trio after a memorial service held by the woman's family at a local cemetery on Sunday to mark four years since her death, reports the Cyprus Mail.
"In my opinion this cleric should be punished; the situation is unacceptable, it is sacrilege," says Cyprus's Archbishop Chrysostomos.
The three claimed they did it because she was a saint, but the church leader suspects otherwise. "They are probably acts of quackery by some aiming to make financial gains. That is my suspicion."
Police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos says, "Our compatriots claimed that they dug up the remains because they considered the deceased a saint," reports the paper.
Vathiadou had once been a nun at a Cypriot monastery and was never officially declared a saint by the Cypriot or Greek Orthodox Churches.
The 42-year-old monk, who lives at the Kykko Monastery in Cyprus, has been suspended for three months and he, along with another man, 54, and a 60-year-old woman, were charged with theft and desecrating the remains of a deceased person.
The three suspects, who were released, are due to appear in court later this month.
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Photo, Malias, flickr