Cyprus Mail

Theologian to face fresh ‘inquisition’ from Holy Synod

The Holy Synod

By Elias Hazou

WELL-known theologian Andreas Pitsillides appeared unfazed on Thursday after learning that the Church is calling him to account for his publicly-aired views.

In a statement it released earlier in the day, the Holy Synod said it discussed “various reports about views expressed over time by Mr. Andreas Pitsillides, which run afoul of the positions of the Church and Orthodox theology.”

The brief statement said a committee would be appointed “to study the whole issue and inform the Holy Synod in order that it takes a decision.”

Pitsillides has been at odds with the current Church regime for some time over his views on homosexuality – anathema to the Church – as well as his criticism of Church-sanctioned miracles.

Simmering tensions are now spilling over into what looks set to be a modern-day incarnation of the Holy Inquisition – although Pitsillides seemed to relish the coming showdown.

“I would like to advise the members of the Synod, when they summon me, to do their homework,” he said on a Sigma television show where he frequently appears as a guest.

Pitsillides, a former MP and MEP with DISY, said that as a layperson he is under no obligation to show up at the committee.

Nevertheless, he would go, provided that the event was covered by the media.

And should the Synod bar the media, he would find another way to publicise the event.

“Thankfully I am not a cleric to be disrobed,” he said, making the sign of the cross.

“Fortunately, divine providence did not permit me to wear the robe and become prey at the mercy of these people, like the common priests who are being oppressed and suffer daily but cannot open their mouths, poor people.

“You’ve got 15 to 16 men who get to wear mitres and think they’re emperors,” Pitsillides added, evidently referring to the bishops making up the Synod, the governing body of the Church.

The young theologian also zapped Archbishop Chrysostomos, going so far as to accuse him of using a false witness in a church court case brought against Limassol bishop Athanasios, accused of being a homosexual.

The church court exonerated Athanasios.

Pitsillides has long slammed the current Church leadership for its ultra-conservative – some might say fundamentalist – take on a range of social issues, including gay marriage and civil partnerships.

Given that Pitsillides is well-read in Orthodox theology, the Holy Synod might live to regret their decision to summon him, particularly if the public is watching.

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