Cyprus Mail

Excommunicated theologian asks Holy Synod to accept him back into the church

Theologian Andreas Pitsillides

Theologian Andreas Pitsillides has asked the Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus to review the 2015 decision for his excommunication arguing it was not in line with regulations, reports said on Thursday.

According to daily Phileleftheros, Pitsillides has sent a letter to the Holy Synod to annul his excommunication in 2015 by a five-member synod committee, arguing that only the Holy Synod can decide such a thing.

The synod committee that excommunicated the outspoken theologian and former Disy MP and MEP, had cited his “heretical views on Orthodox faith and teaching” as the reason he was thrown out of the church.

After presenting his views and answering questions on various issues before the committee, Pitsillides’ arguments were found to deviate from Orthodox teachings.

The synod committee, after also studying Pitsillides’ views, had said it found misbeliefs, intentional misrepresentation, ambiguous interpretations and derisive references on many issues, such as abortion, confession, communion, homosexuality and others.

The committee had 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 issue was expected to be raised as soon as Thursday, by a synod member during a meeting of the body. If the matter comes to a vote, the 16 Holy Synod members will have the right to vote, except the five bishops who were the members of the committee that excommunicated Pitsilides. The synod committee that excommunicated him was comprised of the bishops of Paphos, Tamasos, Trimihtounta, Karpasia and Arsinoi.

Pitsillides has reportedly received reassurances from six of the 11 Holy Synod members who can vote that they would weigh in in favour of his request.

In his letter to the Holy Synod, Pitsillides reportedly said that his excommunication was unfair, irregular and void since it violated many of the articles of association of the church including the one stipulating that the only body that can impose an excommunication is the Holy Synod and not the five-party synod committee or synod court.

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