Morphou, Cyprus, December 2, 2020
The Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus held an emergency session yesterday to discuss the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Following the session, a communiqué was issued in which the Synod strongly recommends that the faithful receive a coronavirus vaccine if it carries the recommendation of the State Health Services, rejecting any “conspiracy theories” about the vaccine or the existence of the virus.
“Of course, no one will have to be vaccinated,” the statement reads, “but those who decide to be vaccinated should not burden their conscience with ungrounded and unscientific superstitions.”
The Holy Synod, hearing “the cry of the people and sympathizing with them because of the outbreak of a pestilential disease, which afflicts the whole of humanity, was informed by a group of epidemiologists” who informed the hierarchs about the pandemic “in all aspects” and fielded the hierarchs’ questions.
The pandemic is a challenge to man to develop his God-given talents while relying on God to do the rest. In this regard, the Synod strongly recommends that all comply with the orders of the state health services. “We restrict our freedom and rights, even as regards attending church, voluntarily, so that we can protect both ourselves and our fellow man and be free of these restrictions as soon as possible,” the Synodal statement reads.
The Synod also emphasizes that Holy Communion itself can in no way transmit any disease and that it will continue to be administered to the faithful in the traditional way. The hierarchs also remind the faithful of the need to pray and repent in order to be saved from the pandemic.
Following the publication of the communiqué, His Eminence Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou, one of the most outspoken hierarchs of the Church of Cyprus, issued his own statement, explaining his disagreement with the day’s Synodal decision.
The decision was not unanimously adopted as was announced, Met. Neophytos emphasizes.
His statement reads:
At this time, I would like to inform the pious faithful of the Holy Metropolis of Morphou and the Church of Cyprus as a whole that the announcement of the Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus after today's emergency session regarding the coronavirus pandemic on the decision to recommend vaccination to the faithful was not a unanimous decision of the members of the Holy Synod as has been announced.
This is because during today’s session we met with a team of private specialists-epidemiologists to inform us but we were not asked to give an opinion on any of the subject matter. I therefore publicly express my disagreement with this communiqué which advises believers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus and I retain my reservations about the contents and action of these vaccines that have been prepared and are being prepared by large pharmaceutical companies.
In addition, I consider this incentive to vaccinate to be hasty, as it is reported that the vaccines have been accepted in advance of knowing their contents, which may include artificial genetic human material and thus cause serious side effects on the human body, as well-documented studies by some scientists have pointed out.
Last month, Met. Neophytos made a proposal to increase vaccine safety control and alleviate public concerns, calling for the establishment of an independent scientific team by the Church of Cyprus to contribute to the control of all available vaccines. The team of experts would advise the Church of Cyprus in an ongoing manner on which vaccine is the safest for its flock.
In particular, the Church needs to be advised by doctors of a high Orthodox life, who work according to their conscience: “If there is no security from some doctors who have an Orthodox life and do not have connections with these global centers and institutions of the New Age, we should not accept them,” because as many people have informed him, the vaccines “will interfere with both DNA and RNA … with side effects that are frightening for the human mind, for human freedom, for human health, and with electronic human monitoring capabilities.”