Nicosia, Cyprus, July 14, 2021
Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus, who broke his promise to the Holy Synod and unilaterally violated its decision to remain neutral on the Ukrainian Church question, is now accusing other hierarchs of disrespecting Synodal decisions.
“I have ways to put them in their place, but I won’t start now,” the Archbishop said, making a thinly-veiled threat against the hierarchs who refuse to accept the recognition of the graceless Ukrainian schismatics and who abstain from Liturgies with the primate in which the schismatic “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko will be commemorated.
Abp. Chrysostomos made his comments about Metropolitans Athanasios of Limassol, Neophytos of Morphou, Nikiforos of Kykkos, Isaiah of Tamassos, and Bishops Nicholas of Amathountos and Epiphanius of Ledras after they declined to participate in a Liturgy on July 10—the day of the memory of Archbishop Kyprianos, who was killed during the 1821 Greek revolution, reports Orthodoxia.info.
It is known that at least several of the hierarchs venerate Abp. Kyprianos as a saint and that the Cypriot Synod is considering the possibility of officially canonizing him. Met. Isaiah of Tamassos recently called for the canonization of the Cypriot New Martyrs, especially including Abp. Kyprianos, which serves to highlight the principled stand that the hierarchs took in abstaining from the celebration in his honor.
Met. Isaiah earlier explained that he and the other hierarchs cannot attend Liturgies where Dumenko is commemorated because it would violate both their hierarchical conscience and the Synod’s February 2019 decision to remain neutral on the matter.
However, according to the Archbishop, their refusal to participate in the service “indicates disrespect for the decisions of the Synod” and “an attempt to circumvent and despise the primate.”
In this, Abp. Chrysostomos seems to be parroting the words of the hierarchs of Limassol, Kykkos, Tamassos, and Amafoutnos, who earlier accused him of ignoring and despising the Holy Synod by unilaterally entering into communion with the graceless schismatics of the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”
The hierarchs have endured much verbal abuse from the Archbishop, who has accused them of selfishly creating sects within the Church and carrying out a conspiracy against him. He has also threatened them with defrocking and excommunication. Such punishment would be “a crown of glory on our heads,” responded Met. Nikiforos.
The hierarchs should always remember that he’s still the Archbishop, the primate said. “I’m still the Archbishop. I’m not dead. I’m still alive,” he said.
If he really wanted to restore the order, he would have the metropolitans removed from the Synod, Abp. Chrysostomos continued, “since they don’t respect the Holy Synod.” However, he remains silent, “so as not to harm the Church,” he states.
“I have ways to put them in their place, but I won’t start now,” he concluded.
Archbishop Chrysostomos’ instability, volatility, and unpredictability have created a heartbreaking situation in the Church of Cyprus today Cypriot Doctor of Theology Andreas N. Papavassiliou wrote in an article in November.