Albanian Synod denounces slander of blasphemous Constantinople cleric

Tirana, Albania, August 14, 2023

Romfea Romfea     

The Holy Synod of the Albanian Orthodox Church hopes that the ecclesiastical authorities in Crete will intervene to stop the slander coming from one of their archimandrites who is very active on social media.

The Secretariat of the Holy Synod of the Albanian Church issued a statement yesterday, denouncing the recent activity of Fr. Romanos (Anastasiadis), who attacked the Albanian primate for sending a letter of support to His Eminence Metropolitan Jonathan of Tulchin, the Ukrainian Orthodox hierarch who was recently sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.

Fr. Romanos is an infamous propagandist of the Patriarchate of Constantinople (Crete falls within the jurisdiction of Constantinople), ready to attack anyone who doesn’t completely follow the Constantinople line on any issue. And in fact, this is not the first time that Abp. Anastasios has had to call out the archimandrite, whom other Constantinople clerics have described to OrthoChristian as a racist.

In 2019, Fr. Romanos accused the Archbishop, who is personally close to Pat. Bartholomew, of being a “Russophile” and “Slavophile” because he does not recognize the Ukrainian schismatics but rather calls for a council so the Church can work in a conciliar fashion.

And the archimandrite has returned to the same low level of argumentation now. In addition to his personal site, his Facebook page shows five separate posts in two days attacking the Archbishop. Fr. Romanos denounces the Archbishop’s support for persecuted hierarchs as a sign of support for the “Russian world” political theory and the war in Ukraine, despite the fact that His Beatitude denounced the war already in February 2023.

The Albanian Church’s statement reads:

An Archimandrite of the Church of Crete, who signs on social networks as Ilias Anastasiadis (Archimandrite Romanos), posted vulgar insults on his personal website during major feast days (a) 11.08.2023. b) 12.08.2023) at the expense of His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and all Albania. The occasion was a letter from the Archbishop to the persecuted Ukrainian Metropolitan, Jonathan of Tulchin and Bratslav, in which it is stated that: “It is with deep sorrow that we follow the painful trials of Your beloved Eminence and your chosen flock… We fraternally pray that God might strengthen you, that you might approv[e yourself] as the ministers of God, in much patience (2 Cor. 6:4-9).

The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania hopes that the head of the ecclesiastical authority, regardless of the individuals hiding behind this mask, will intervene effectively to put an end to this reprehensible behavior. His successive malicious texts brutally insult not only two Local Orthodox Churches but also the prestige of Orthodoxy in the Christian world.

Of course, Abp. Anastasios far from Fr. Romanos’ only target. For a few examples, he has also accused His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine of having a “distraught and fanatical Russian mind,” and has referred to His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) as “a pernicious and satanic blasphemer and an agent of Putin’s totalitarianism and imperialism.”

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