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Defrocked or on sabbatical: Holy Synod to decide on ex-bishop

former bishop of kiti chrysostomos
Former bishop of Kiti Chrysostomos during a court appearance

Former Kiti Bishop Chrysostomos, who was found guilty of sexual assault, might be placed on a forced sabbatical by the Holy Synod, since filing an appeal against the ruling by the Larnaca district court.

According to theologian Theodoros Kyriacou, who commented on Monday, the synod is faced with excommunicating the cleric based on the court ruling or putting him on a sabbatical until the appeal is examined. The Holy Synod meets on Tuesday.

“By doing this [filing his appeal], he has given the opportunity to all those that were not ready to proceed with excommunication, to vote for a less harsh sentence, which is to put him on sabbatical until the appeal proceedings conclude,” he said.

Kyriacou told CyBC that being placed on sabbatical might not sit well with the bishop, as he would have his pay slashed by 50 per cent, and not be allowed a driver or use of the archdiocese vehicle, and other perks.

The former Kiti bishop is also still living at the Kiti bishopric complex in Larnaca.

However, a few days ago, the current bishop of the area Nektarios said he would begin procedures to remove him following the synod meeting.

Chrysostomos filed his appeal against the guilty verdict for the sexual assault trial on Friday morning.

A few weeks ago, the cleric was found guilty of assaulting a teenage girl, who was 16 years old in 1981, when he was still in his post.

After a lengthy trial that began in May 2022, the former bishop was convicted of the charge of indecent assault, as the court deemed the testimony of the now 58-year-old, as well as the defence witnesses, to be credible.

Speaking on Saturday, the woman said that she was not surprised by his move to file an appeal.

Commenting on the synod meeting, the Bishop of Karpasia Christoforos said that they will examine the issue which will be publicly announced.

“The examination will be based on the data we have before us and these are the conviction and the sentence. We will make a decision, which will be announced to the public,” he said.

Meanwhile, a protest is also planned by women’s groups outside the archbishopric, where the synod will meet.

The woman that filed the charges against the former bishop is set to appear at the protest.

 

 

 

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