Cypriot hierarch explains unwillingness to concelebrate with Archbishop Chrysostomos

Tamassos, Cyprus, November 11, 2020


His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah of Tamassos of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus stated in an interview yesterday that he cannot concelebrate with Archbishop Chrysostomos, the Cypriot primate, since he now commemorates the schismatic Epiphany Dumenko.

The Metropolitan then offered a further statement, explaining his unwillingness to concelebrate with the Archbishop.

Met. Isaiah first clarified that he himself has not ceased and will not cease commemorating Abp. Chrysostomos in the Divine Liturgies he serves. “I recognize and respect the Archbishop and respect him as the primate. I don’t agree with what he did, and I have said it publicly,” he said, reports Romfea.

He also stressed and reiterated that he cannot serve with Epiphany Dumenko, the head of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” or attend any service where he is commemorated, because it would mean violating the neutral stance agreed upon by the Cypriot Holy Synod.

“If I am present somewhere and he is commemorated, it means that I recognize him and his church and thereby violate the decisions of the Holy Synod of Cyprus,” Met. Isaiah explained.

Recall that His Eminence Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol, who was present when the Archbishop first commemorated Epiphany, immediately left upon hearing the schismatic’s name.

The issue could be easily cleared by convening the Holy Synod, which Met. Isaiah would, of course, attend, he states.

According to the latest information from Romfea, the Archbishop will convene the Synod soon.

“At the moment, we have a Synodal decision, which in fact differs from the decision of the primate,” His Eminence stressed.

Recall that Met. Isaiah, Met. Athanasios, and two other hierarchs issued an appeal to Abp. Chrysostom’s to revoke his decision to commemorate schismatics, noting that he is “ignoring and despising his own Holy Synod.”

“In the Holy Synod, I can be persuaded by arguments in favor of something other than what I believe in. But I want to have the right to discuss it. The Holy Synod has the last word,” the Cypriot hierarch said.

“All of this is a matter of hierarchical conscience, and this should be understood by all interested parties. They should not confuse our intentions with secular interests that are alien to our spirit and theology,” Met. Isaiah concluded, referring to the Archbishop’s baseless accusation that Met. Isaiah and the other three hierarchs are acting out of loyalty to Russia.

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