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Archbishop pondering withdrawing theologian’s excommunication

comment christos the new archbishop georgios has been chosen by 5.5 per cent of greek cypriot voters
Archbishop Georgios

Archbishop Georgios is open to lifting the 2015 excommunication of theologian Andreas Pitsillides if he withdraws “his heretical views” on the Orthodox faith, it was reported on Thursday.

According to ‘sources’ cited by Phileleftheros, on the initiative of another theologian Theodoros Kyriakou, a meeting was held in the presence of Pitsillides, also a former MP and MEP.

They said the archbishop let it be known that it was not up to him per se but to the Holy Synod, but he would favour the move to reinstate Pitsillides on the understanding he withdraws what he said in the past but must send a letter to that effect.

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

The five-member synod committee was made up of Georgios, who was then Bishop of Paphos, Bishop of Tamasos Isiah, Bishop of Trimithounda Varnavas, Bishop of Karpasia Christoforos and Bishop of Kiti Nektarios.

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”.

With a new archbishop now on the throne, efforts are being made to lift the excommunication.

If Pitsillides sends the letter, the move could take place during the first session of the Holy Synod under the new archbishop.

At the beginning of September 2019,  Pitsillidis did send a letter to the Synod requesting the excommunication be lifted but was unsuccessful as he did not retract his positions and based his case on a rules argument saying that all the members of the Holy Synod should have voted.

In that letter, he described his excommunication as “completely unjust, illegal, invalid and illegal” since it violated dozens of articles of the church charter.

 

 

 

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