ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ Prospective Orthodox priests say the dress code of long black robes, tall hats and overgrown beards is ruining their marriage prospects, Greek media reported Saturday.

``If the robes create an obstacle for finding a wife _ and you know they do _ then the church's leadership must do something to modernize our appearance,'' Father Efstathios Kollas, head of the union of parish priests, said Friday.

Kollas, who said only 3,000 of Greece's 11,000 priests are married, said the priests' outdated appearance discourages educated Greeks from becoming men of the cloth.

The plea for new outfits comes ahead of a 10-day meeting starting Tuesday of the Holy Synod, the Greek Church's governing body. The meeting will be presided over by the head of the Greek Orthodox Church Archbishop Christodoulos who has said the church should modernize.