Metropolitan Isaiah of Tamassos (Cyprus) addresses Ukraine and various moral issues

Tamassos, Cyprus, December 16, 2022

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The issue of recognizing the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” recognized by the wider Orthodox world as schismatic, is over and done with in the Church of Cyprus, says Metropolitan Isaiah of Tamassos, one of the top contenders to next occupy the primatial throne of the Cypriot Church.

The hierarch spoke about a number of relevant topics in a recent interview with, including, besides Ukraine, the ever-present topics of abortion and sexuality.

The Church has its beliefs but also doesn’t judge anyone, the Metropolitan said.

Asked about his goals if he becomes the next Archbishop, Met. Isaiah said first is to restore unity and cooperation among the members of the Holy Synod. Next: “The modernization of the pastoral policy of the Church, so that it becomes beneficial for the whole world, without discrimination.”

“It is necessary to make serious incisions and reforms in the Church of Cyprus, to be able to make Christ recognizable again to the man of today,” the Metropolitan said.

He also emphasized that the Cypriot Church “has an obligation to support the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the existing Patriarchates of the Middle East.”

Met. Isaiah was once among the Cypriot hierarchs who strongly opposed the recognition of the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” which strained his relationship with the recently departed Archbishop Chrysostomos. Asked if he has changed his mind, the Metropolitan responded:

With the information we had at that time, we rightly asked for the opportunity of peace, through dialogue and neutrality, so that the autocephaly would function properly in Ukraine. Now the theological facts have changed, but also, with the invasion, the national facts have also changed, since any revisionism undermines our own existence, as well as that of Greece. We’re not ecclesiastically dependent on either the East or the West. We have autocephaly and we must have an opinion on it, according to the information we have in front of us.

The matter is over and if I’m elected, I won’t bring it back to the Holy Synod.

Met. Isaiah did not clarify which “theological facts have changed.”

Now, he says, “our relations with the Phanar are stronger than ever.”

The outlet also asked the hierarch about various moral issues. Concerning the possibility of LGBT conversion therapy, Met. Isaiah said:

Christ is love and He Himself said that the one who comes to Me I will not drive away. So, without discrimination, I love and support every person, without violent efforts and interventions in their lives. For every human being, the true word of love in Christ always brings peace and awareness of truth and peaceful relationships.

Asked whether the Church should have position on issues like abortion, cremation, euthanasia, and sexuality, and intervene politically on such issues, the hierarch of Tamassos said:

The Church respects and protects the gift of God, which is our very life, dignity and health. We always act supportively, consultatively and pray that people will be enlightened. Our concern is that human life isn’t interrupted for social reasons, but, at the same time, we shouldn’t forcibly intervene and judge people’s legitimate and personal decisions, without even having proposals to solve problems.

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Gary 12/18/2022 2:09 pm
I pray that the Bishops of the world stand together against this nonsense.
anonsayswhat12/17/2022 4:28 am
"The issue of recognizing the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” recognized by the wider Orthodox world as schismatic, is over and done with in the Church of Cyprus, says Metropolitan Isaiah of Tamassos... and without consulting the Synod in Cyprus! lol... We should by now know that these hierarchs that are pushing for schism are pushing for their own demise/deaths as prophecised by St. Paisios. "Holy Prophet Ilias is sharpening his blades." There hasn't been any mass illegal immigration in Europe/Cyprus that can with one signal turn fanatic those fighting age youths that would love to target the clergy everywhere...
Panagiotis12/17/2022 3:57 am
What is this "love" nonsense and "Church will not judge" nonsense? All words that liberals like to emphasize in my opinion. We should emphasize GOD'S PUNISHMENT (WRATH) FOR SINS, AND THAT WE SHOULD FEAR GOD. The Church does judge! It is the Church's DUTY to identify sin and criticize that sin so the sinners straighten up and so others do not commit the same sins. What is he talking about? God Almighty! Is this man an Orthodox Bishop? He wants to "reform the Church so Christ is recognizable again to the man of today"? What absolute liberal nonsense in my opinion. The Church does NOT change, we are the same Church now for 2,000 years. If some people change then that is their problem. The Church must maintain conservative beliefs, practices, and customs. We are the True Church and we do not change for the convenience of the times. I cannot believe that this man actually said these things. Let us hope and pray that a strong conservative traditionalist becomes the next head of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus. Glory be to our God Jesus Christ. Thoxa Si O Theos, Thoxa Si. Just my humble opinion.
Alex12/17/2022 1:45 am
Joseph, Jospeh, Joseph! The Ecumenical Patriarchate (aka the bishop of Istanbul) has no right whatsoever to reverse the depositions of any other canonical Orthodox Church. Bartholomew is deluded.
Alexander 12/16/2022 11:23 pm
The next open apostate! When we hear "modernization" everything is said. There is no "modernization" in Holy Orthodoxy. The Greek Church wherever She maybe has fallen.
James P12/16/2022 10:23 pm
Joseph Lipper: Well, I claim the right to depose Bartholomew. So everything's good now, right? This seems to be a modern psychological illness: claiming to be what you're not, and that you can do things you have no right to do. Bartholomew is right in step with that.
Mikhail12/16/2022 6:50 pm
Wow! He did a 180 degree turn! Now he is a modernist and a Phanariote! Perhaps someone black mailed or threatened him?
Theodoros 12/16/2022 5:10 pm
ANAXIOS! What a cowardly bishop. The church of Cyprus has lost five hundred Churches and Monasteries that the Turks in the occupied territories have destroyed or converted into Mosques. On that basis alone, the church of Cyprus should identify with the canonical Ukrainian Church whose Churches are being seized by fascists and schismatics. A bishop who sells out his faith has no business serving in the priesthood. This man knows what he is doing is wrong as he once articulated the reasons why the canonical Church was the correct one. He should be expelled from the priesthood not serving as a candidate for Archbishop. Greeks everywhere should reject the apostate Bartholomew and not grovel before him.
Joseph Lipper12/16/2022 4:47 pm
One of the key questions that Metropolitan Isaiah had was concerning the apostolic succession of the former AOCU in Ukraine. There were two episcopal ordinations in particular that involved the participation of a phony "bishop", Vikentii Chekalin. However, as Father Grigorios Fragakis points out in his excellent thesis, "On the treatment of the ecclesiastical issue in Ukraine under the Mother Church of Constantinople. (The issue of ordinations)", there was indeed apostolic succession carried over by the other AOCU bishop involved, John Bodnarchuk (who was ordained bishop by the Moscow Patriarchate.) Although church canons specify that at least two bishops be involved in episcopal ordinations, there is also historical precedent for a singular bishop ordaining a bishop in rare circumstances. It's not unheard of historically, and apostolic succession is still carried on. Of course a deposed bishop, such as John Bornarchuk, cannot ordain another bishop, but the Ecumenical Patriarchate claimed the right in 2018 to remove such depositions in Ukraine.
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