Metropolitans of the Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus have ceased concelebrating the services with Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus and will not attend them unless the Holy Synod decides beforehand on the Ukrainian issue, not the Archbishop of Cyprus himself.
Metropolitan Isaias of Tamasos and Orini made this statement to the newspaper “Phileleftheros,” who correlates the move of the head of the Church of Cyprus to commemorate Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv with the upcoming archepiscopal election.
Metropolitan Epifaniy is like a red rag to a bull since those who disagreed with the commemoration will not celebrate with him if he travels to Cyprus, responding to the invitation of the Archbishop. The Metropolitan of Tamasos stated that we found ourselves on the threshold of a potential schism and added that it was up to the Archbishop whether the situation returns to normalcy. Asked to clarify what he means, he said that the Archbishop of Cyprus could convene the Holy Synod to discuss the issue raised with his move to commemorate Metropolitan Epifaniy.
Answering a relevant question, he attributed the Archbishop’s move to matter of mentality, noting that based on the statements of the Archbishop, it appears that he will only raise issues that he considers likely to be approved by the majority at the meeting of the Holy Synod. We disagree with this mindset, which leads to individual actions, far from the collectivity that the Holy Synod should have since the Synod decides collectively, he said. It does not mean, he added, that we always want to pass our opinion.
Regarding the concelebration with Archbishop Chrysostomos, he said that he could not concelebrate with anyone who would commemorate Metropolitan Epifaniy because that would mean recognizing someone who has not been ordained canonically.
“Nor can I concelebrate with Metropolitan Epifaniy or his fellow clergymen or allow them to perform the holy mysteries to the faithful,” said Metropolitan Isaias of Tamasos. “I can not allow them to enter my diocese,” he added.