He is still an Archbishop and he has not died, but he is alive, said the Primate of the Church of Cyprus in response to the attitude of members of the Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus who do not comply with the decisions of the Holy Synod.
The Archbishop said their behavior is a reason for the Church to take a strict stance, but added that it would leave them in their delusion.
In his statement to CyBC, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus referred to disrespect in the decisions of the Synod by stressing the behavior or even an attempt to bypass or despise the primate.
As he said, “The holy brother must always take into account that I am still Archbishop. I did not die. I am still alive.”
Members of the Holy Synod who do not agree with the recognition of the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which was decided to be granted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, abstain from the synodal concelebrations of the Divine Liturgy, thus taking a stance in favor of the arguments of the Russian Orthodox Church, according to the opposite view.
Hierarchs were also absent from the service in memory of the Ethnomartyr Archbishop Kyprianos, which was determined by the Holy Synod to be performed by the members of the Holy Synod.
The Archbishop told CyBC, “I think the brothers are wrong.
If I am interested in making them see reason, they stop being synodal members, when they do not respect the Holy Synod. That is why I remain silent, so that the Church is not harmed.”
The Archbishop spoke about the virtue of patience, a notion he was taught when he was a monk in the Monastery of Saint Neophytos.
As he said, “When someone stubbornly insisted on his point of view, we said ‘stay in your delusion’.”
Asked whether the crisis is deepening under the threat of breaking the communion, he said: “If this issue does not deepen, then the Church must be strict. I have ways to put them in their place, but I will not start now.”
And while all this is happening, another unilateral attitude took place in relation to the Ethnomartyr Archbishop Kyprianos.
The Metropolis of Limassol commemorated the hanged Cypriot Archbishop as a saint, an action which he took arbitrarily without a decision of the Holy Synod.
In fact, a Vigil was held to celebrate the archcantor Ionas, who was another martyr of the Revolution of 1821 beheaded by the Turks, as a saint.
The Archbishop of Cyprus said the issue of canonization of Archbishop Kyprianos was being examined by a synodal committee, but the issue had not yet been raised at the Synod. The Archbishop cited this example to show that none can act as one wants.
The Archbishop of Cyprus stated: “Ethnomartyr Kyprianos can be a saint. God makes him a saint, not us. The Synod recognizes it, and then takes a decision, not everyone does what they want.
This is something the Holy Synod decides. Alas! None can act on his own. If something like this happens there, it is serious and then the Synod is even considering tough decisions.”
No official statement was issued by the Metropolis of Limassol, whose executives, however, told CyBC that there were examples in Orthodoxy with saints who were honored before their official recognition.