Bishop of Cyprus: Primate mentions Epiphany despite his promise to Synod
Metropolitan Athanasios said that Archbishop Chrysostomos had promised to respect the opinion of the Synod on the issue of the OCU, but then he broke his promise.
On October 26, 2020, Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol of the Cyprus Orthodox Church, announced that the decision of the Primate of the Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos, to commemorate the name of Epiphany Dumenko during the divine service "abolishes the Synod of the Church," the Greek edition Romfea reports.
The Metropolitan of Limassol stressed that “our disagreements concern not only the substance of the matter”, which is about whether “the Ecumenical Patriarchate acted well or badly” (by granting autocephaly to the OCU – Ed.).
According to him, “at the moment our problem is that the Archbishop raised this issue at the meeting of the Holy Synod on September 9, and then all the members of the Holy Synod, almost without exception, told the Archbishop that he should not do this, and he himself said that he would not do this, since the members of the Synod expressed a different opinion, and he will respect the opinion of the Synod."
He said that all the members of the Synod were satisfied with the words of the Archbishop, therefore, the commemoration of Dumenko during the liturgy caused surprise.
“This upset us, because in this way the Holy Synod of the Cypriot Church is being abolished, and this is an act with which we do not agree. Therefore, we expressed our disagreement and dissatisfaction with this fact,” added Metropolitan Athanasios.
Commenting on his departure from the service and answering the question whether he had spoken with Archbishop Chrysostomos about this, the Metropolitan of Limassol said, "I did not speak with the Archbishop, I left so as not to say some words that I would not like to say."
“The Church of Cyprus is represented and governed by the Holy Synod. The Archbishop is the Primate of the Church, but he cannot make decisions on his own; neither the Archbishop without the Synod nor the Synod without the Archbishop,” Vladyka stressed.
He is confident that this decision "must be taken by the majority of the Holy Synod," and noted that he will obey the decision of the majority, even if he does not agree with it: "I may disagree, but I obey what the majority of the members of the Holy Synod decide."
When asked what he considered correct, he replied that the Synod should be convened: "Now I do not know what the Archbishop will do."
When asked to comment on the reaction of the Russian Church, Metropolitan Athanasios replied that "the Russian Church has already excluded the Archbishop of Cyprus from its diptychs, and this is very significant and very painful, and I do not know what consequences this will have in other areas."
Vladyka also noted that apart from those metropolitans who had signed an appeal to the primate with him, he hadn’t spoken with any other metropolitans on this issue.
Earlier, the UOJ wrote that the Primate of the Church of Cyprus made a liturgical mention of Epiphany, and later it became known that the Cypriot hierarchs were outraged by the act of their Primate.