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Church of Cyprus: Clergymen of St. Avvakum Monastery to face Six-Member Synodal Court

The Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus, following an extensive extraordinary session on Friday, has resolved to refer the two clergymen implicated in the Holy Monastery of Saint Avvakum case to the Six-Member Synodal Court.

Archimadrite Georgios Christodoulou, the Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod, affirmed the Synod’s commitment to bringing about purification within the Church during his post-session remarks.

Additionally, he highlighted that the Holy Synod, prompted by His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah of Tamassos, initially invited the two suspended clergymen to apologise. Regrettably, they declined to appear before the Holy Synod.

The forthcoming convening of the Six-Member Synodal Court was announced, as it prepares to address the matter at hand. Despite invitations from the Holy Synod, the two monks opted not to attend the session.

Specifically, attempts were made to reach the two monks, both by phone and through three messages, yet they could not be located.

In response to inquiries about the process, the Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod explained that it follows specific timelines and procedures.

What happened

The session focused on the examination of the witness material and evidence.

The charges are against two monks and concern issues of management of the monastery’s finances, as well as moral issues.

In the initial stages of the investigation, the two monks had admitted guilt, but a few hours later their lawyers denied everything.

The announcement of the Holy Synod

The Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod read a statement indicating that there is a request for defrocking from the priesthood for the suspended clergy due to canonical offenses.

Additionally, it is mentioned that “a letter was presented to the Holy Synod by a lawyer, asserting that the mentioned clergy had been coerced and threatened into signing a document for their defrocking. Therefore, the lawyer calls for adherence to the provisions outlined in the Charter of the Church of Cyprus regarding the Administration of Ecclesiastical Justice.”

“After Metropolitan of Tamassos briefed the Holy Synod members on the circumstances that prompted him to suspend the two clergymen and close the Monastery, a comprehensive discussion followed regarding the various facets of the issue. Subsequently, the Holy Synod resolved to call aforementioned clergy for an apology,” stated the announcement.

“We tried to reach out to them by phone and three times through messages but they refused to appear before the Holy Synod. Therefore, the Holy Synod resolved to refer them to the Six-Member Synodal Court,” he adds.

Furthermore, the Holy Synod urges the faithful to remain calm in the face of moral lapses, even if they involve clergy, prioritising their trust and faith in God.

The Holy Synod reaffirms to the devout flock of Christ its commitment to fostering purification within the Church. It encourages the faithful not to hesitate in reporting with evidence any misconduct by clergy or monks that deviates from their roles and duties.

Source: /