Priest attacks Crete bishop in church in Turkey

Beşiktaş, Istanbul Province, Turkey, April 4, 2024

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A physical altercation broke out between an archimandrite and a metropolitan in a church in the Istanbul Province in Turkey on Tuesday.

Video footage from inside the Church of the Bodiless Powers in Beşiktaş shows Metropolitan Athenagoras of Kydonia, from the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s Church of Crete, entering the church to venerate the icon of the Theotokos. A few seconds later, as seen in the video, Archimandrite Chrysanthos, the Patriarchate’s Great Catechist, appears and suddenly starts punching the hierarch, reports Romfea.

The sexton immediately intervenes and manages to separate the two clerics, who exchange insults in Turkish.

The video can be viewed on YouTube.

Reportedly, the metropolitan and archimandrite had a dispute about what time the service should have started that day. Met. Athenagoras arrived an hour later than Fr. Chrystanos wanted and told the archimandrite, “I won’t be needing you. You can leave.”

Met. Athenagoras filed a complaint about the priest, and the police are looking for him.

The two men are reported to have had disputes in the past over various issues and have caused great turmoil in the Patriarchate.

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