Istanbul, July 28, 2023
The newly consecrated Bishop Theophan of Philomelion issued a “Declaration and Clarification” yesterday, addressing the scandal surrounding what happened during his episcopal consecration in Istanbul.
The Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania already protested Constantinople’s election of then-Archimandrite Theophan (Koja) as the new bishop for its Albanian Diocese in America, remembering his destructive schismatic activity in Albania in the 1990s.
And after his consecration on Tuesday, presided over by Archbishop Elpidophoros of the Greek Archdiocese of America, the Albanian Church reported that the new Bishop Theophan had recited the Nicene Creed with the heretical Filioque, pointing to it as more evidence of his unworthiness.
The news quickly spread and caused a scandal in the Orthodox Church.
The Greek outlet Romfea published an article by theologian Kostas Nousis declaring that due to the recitation of the Creed with the Filioque, “a Latin heresy and malicious addition,” Bp. Theophan’s consecration was invalid.
“And in fact, those who were present and kept silent are also responsible, because it is a falsification of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity,” writes Kousis. “And one cannot play with matters of faith in the Orthodox Church, no matter how high one is hierarchically.”
Bp. Theophan issued a statement on the controversy yesterday, saying he recited the Creed with the Filioque out of the high emotion and anxiety of the moment, but that he, in fact, confesses the Orthodox faith: