By Angelos Anastasiou
Celebrity theologian and former DISY MP and MEP Andreas Pitsillides was excommunicated by a Synod Committee on Friday, which cited his heretical views on Orthodox faith and teaching as the reason he was thrown out of the Church of Cyprus.
Announcing the decision, the committee said Pitsillides’ removal from the Church would remain in force until such time as he “recovers, renounces his falsehoods and misbeliefs, and begs for God’s mercy”.
The announcement added that the Synod Committee came to the decision due to Pitsillides’ misbeliefs, intentional misrepresentations, scornful references to faith, morals, and traditions, and his unethical attitude towards it and the Holy Synod.
The committee called on Pitsillides to contemplate his responsibility towards God and people, and refrain from conceit and egotism in humbling himself to the teachings of the Bible and the Church’s ethos, and, instead of tempting them, making himself an example to people of faith.
The Synod Committee, comprising the bishops of Paphos, Tamasos, Trimihtountos, Karpasias, and Arsinois, was formed into a body on September 3.
On Friday, the committee invited Pitsillides to explain his views and answer questions on issues his arguments were found to diverge from Orthodox teachings.
According to the statement, following “systematic and detailed study of Pitsillides’ views, as they were laid out by him and based on his assertion that he does not retract or amend any of his prior public statements, the committee came to the conclusion that his views and ethos are clearly contrary to the views and ethos of the Orthodox Church”.
It found misbeliefs, intentional misrepresentation, ambiguous interpretations, and derisive references on many issues, such as abortion, confession, communion, homosexuality, and others.
It described Pitsillides’ behaviour as “unethical and extremely provocative”, citing his defiance of the committee’s mandate and his intention of submitting responses in writing only to the Holy Synod.
The announcement also quoted him as not recognising the Holy Synod as representative of the Church.
The committee called on the flock to ignore such misbeliefs and remain faithful in the teachings of the Church, its ethos and traditions.
“The pursuits of anyone, no matter his title, or the way in which they may be expressed, should not mislead people of faith and distract them from our apostolic faith,” the committee said.