The Archbishop of Cyprus gave an interview with the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (RIK) on the night of Thursday, November 26. The recent decision of the Holy Synod on the Ukrainian autocephaly issue was the hot topic during the interview.
The Archbishop did not accept the fact that there is a schism within the Church of Cyprus.
“There is no schism within the Church of Cyprus. No crisis. This stance of arbitrariness will fade away. I won’t let them get away with this. In 10 days the Council will meet to approve the budget of the Church. I am the president of the Council and the Metropolitan of Kykkos is the vice-president. We will meet there. We will have a discussion on Tuesday at the meeting for the coronavirus,” said the Archbishop.
Among other things, he stated that he did not wait for the result of the Synod since another Synod had taken place with a spirit of consensus two days before. “There was a consensus at the first meeting. I do not know what the four said. I have heard that they met in Metochi,” he noted.
Asked to answer about how the Holy Synod would continue now and what the next day would be after the decision of the other members of the Synod to disagree, he said that they could do nothing. “They don’t get a say in it. What the cay say is that they won’t concelebrate with me (editor’s note: the Archbishop of Cyprus). We all concelebrate the Divine Liturgy a few times a year during festivities. If I invite them to concelebrate the Divine Liturgy with me, they cannot refuse to do so. When I invite them, they cannot come only if they get sick,” he explained. If they choose not to attend, then there are punishments, he said. “The punishments provided for range from reprimand to defrocking. We cannot do what we want within the Church of Cyprus,” he stressed.
Asked about the reasons for the disagreement, the Archbishop said that he did not want to reopen old wounds. “There are other reasons…,” he said pithily. “I waited for them to come and talk to me and I said that, if I were them, I would leave the Church and go to the Archbishop to protest. I would ask him why he did it without telling us (editor’s note: he was talking about his decision to commemorate Metropolitan Epifaniy). I explained to those who came to me the reasons behind my decision,” he continued. “When I learned the whole truth, I decided to be honest with myself and the Patriarchate. There is a disorder. They all send Metropolitans or priests to areas with Orthodox community and establish Metropolises. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has set limits,” he said.
Moscow’s attempt to penetrate Europe
The Archbishop said that Moscow has made an attempt to penetrate Europe and the USA. “Other churches did the same,” he said.
Asked about the possibility of instrumentalization of the Russians living in Cyprus, the Archbishop said that now there was no such possibility but it could the case in 20 or 50 years.