Tamasos, Cyprus, September 16, 2020
Yesterday OrthoChristian reported that Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria, currently in the midst of a week-long visit to Cyprus, has not celebrated the Divine Liturgy in any church or monastery of the Cypriot Church, and his schedule for the remainder of his trip does not include the celebration of any Liturgies.
Moreover, his schedule did not include any official audience with His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos, the primate of the Cypriot Church. The two primates did meet, however, while Pat. Theodoros was visiting another hierarch of the Cypriot Church, Metropolitan George of Paphos.
On Sunday, September 13, the Metropolis of Tamasos reported that the Patriarch would preside over Vespers for the metropolis’ patronal feast of St. Herakleidios at the Convent of St. Herakleidios in Politiko tomorrow. However, as Orthodox journalist Alexander Voznesensky learned from sources in the Cypriot Church, the Patriarch would leave Cyprus the next day without attending the Divine Liturgy.
“It is more than likely that this is a kind of response to the boorish act that Theodoros committed during the last visit, when he deceptively commemorated schismatics despite the requests of the host party not to do so,” Voznesensky commented. Pat. Theodoros, who began commemorating the Ukrainian schismatics just before his previous visit to Cyprus in November, promised His Eminence Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol that he would not commemorate the schismatics in the churches in his territory, though he broke his promise and commemorated the schismatic “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko. Met. Athanasios himself is very vocally against recognition of the schismatics.
Voznesensky, who provided on-the-scene reporting during the Patriarch’s scandalous visit in November, since learned from sources in the Cypriot Church that the Patriarch’s entire schedule in the Tamasos Diocese has been canceled, as well as his schedule in the city of Larnaca.
“Thus, Theodoros of Alexandria will not take part in the feast of St. Herakleidios, which is important for all Cypriots,” Voznesensky writes.
“Instead, according to sources in the Church of Cyprus, the representative of the Jerusalem Patriarchate, Metropolitan Timothy, Exarch of the Holy Sepulchre in Cyprus, will serve,” he continues.
“Let me remind you that clerics and hierarchs of the Church of Cyprus earlier privately voiced a request for prayers due to fears that Theodoros of Alexandria might commit a provocation with the commemoration of Ukrainian schismatics, as he did during his last visit to Cyprus, despite requests from the host party to refrain from such actions,” Voznesensky writes.
Today, Romfea published a statement in which His Eminence Metropolitan of Isaiah of Tamasos reports that he is in isolation after having a meeting with His Eminence Metropolitan Nektarios of Kition, Exarch of Larnaca, whose diocese has two employees who tested positive for the coronavirus.
While Met. Isaiah will therefore not be able to attend the feast of St. Herakleidios in his own metropolis, as Voznesensky notes, this does not explain Pat. Theodoros’ absence, as the feast is still being celebrated and Met. Isaiah’s absence does not prevent Met. Timothy from attending and celebrating.
“Does anyone even remember cases when the head of one Church came to visit another Church for a multi-day visit and the host party did not invite him to serve the Liturgy once? I can’t remember any such cases, and Eucharistic communion is considered the basis and foundation of communication between hierarchs and Churches,” Voznesensky comments.