Priest who called Pope a heretic was confessing pure Orthodoxy, says Cypriot hierarch

Morphou, Cyprus, December 21, 2021

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The Greek priest who yelled out that Pope Francis is a heretic was doing his job, offering a God-pleasing confession of faith, believes His Eminence Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou.

The Cypriot hierarch spoke about Protopresbyter John Diotis, the elderly priest who yelled out as Pope Francis entered the Archbishopric of Athens earlier this month, in his homily on the feast of St. Nicholas, December 6.

Fr. John spoke the pure truth when he shouted, “Pope, you’re a heretic!” says Met. Neophytos. He was immediately grabbed and dragged away by the police. “The police did their job, but Fr. John also did his job,” the Cypriot hierarch said.

“At that very moment, for his courageous confession of faith, Christ forgave and erased any sins committed by Fr. John from the Book of Life,” Met. Neophytos believes. As the hierarch explained, there are various paths to holiness—asceticism, confession, martyrdom, etc.—but they all require the purity of the Orthodox faith.

And Fr. John is well known for standing up for the purity of the faith, including taking a stand against Patriarch Bartholomew’s anti-canonical invasion of Ukrainian Church territory.

We cannot concelebrate with the Pope or other such leaders precisely because they confess a distorted faith, Met. Neophytos added. Thus, Fr. John simply spoke the pure truth, he emphasized.

“Someone had to tell them the truth when all others are silent,” His Eminence said.

“Why this silence?” he asked. “Where is the spirit of self-sacrifice possessed by the saints—St. Nicholas, for example, who was imprisoned by St. Constantine the Great? And Christ Himself and the Mother of God freed him. Christ gave him the Gospel and the Theotokos gave him his omophorion,” Met. Neophytos stressed.

The hierarch also noted that Fr. John has faithfully served the Church for many years, and that the Church has much to be grateful to him for, “because by his efforts, the entire 150 volumes of Patrologia Migne were published and Patristic works have spread all over the world.”

In November 2019, Fr. John sent a letter to Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, who at that time had just recognized the schismatics of the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” calling on him to publish the relevant documents and information proving Constantinople’s right to go into Ukrainian Church territory and establish a new church.

The priest has also criticized Pat. Bartholomew’s string of deceptive statements made to justify his actions in Ukraine.

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Daniel Smith1/4/2022 10:39 am
If you want to find the spirit of self-sacrifice in Orthodoxy, support your local Greek Old Calendarists.
Utrecht12/24/2021 3:19 am
Masha, this isn't drama - this is eternal life. At some point we all die, and when we do, there is no more sleep, or desolation - we go where our soul desired. The only point of this life is to reach God, and that only happens in the Orthodox Christian Church. Those outside of the church are up to Gods judgement, not ours. An Orthodox Christian abandoning his faith intentionally intentionally puts themselves into the hands of the enemy. There is no multiple bodies of the Church - the Body of Christ, cannot be divided. Therefore the pope is a blaspheming heretic, leading others astray into darkness - especially through uniatism nonsense, and 'eastern Catholics' which venerate Orthodox Saints who condemn the pope. This is apostacy, and Glory be to God for His priests standing in the Truth that was fought for so much by blood of martyrs for 2,000 years.
bds12/24/2021 2:38 am
Running out in the street and calling someone a heretic doesn't wipe away any sins, that's utter nonsense. It's easy to pull stunts like this, smash statues, scream at people, etc. Maybe he felt the need to get this off his chest & maybe his personality is like this, but it shouldn't be promoted in the media. The Migne project was a work of the Roman Catholic Church, but it's old and much of it is out-of-date. The secular universities have done far more to give these works to the general public (see: Brill for example) than the Catholic/Orthodox churches ever did. Migne is already available for free online and Catholics have known about the availability for a long time. It's often better to pick up a newer version from better scholarship.
Ioannis12/22/2021 8:53 pm
Really Elder Presbyter John Diotis and Metropolitan Neophytos are two holy jewels of Greek-speaking Orthodox Churches.
Ivan12/22/2021 4:21 pm
Masha Romanova12/22/2021 1:51 am
So much drama...
Menas12/21/2021 10:27 pm
Axios to Fr. John
Alex12/21/2021 5:28 pm
What an impressive man. Thank you, Fr. John Diotis, for your courageous stand, and witness to Christ!
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