Cyprus Mail

Ex-Kiti bishop still refusing to budge

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

Embattled former Kiti bishop Chrysostomos has still not left the accommodation at the metropolis despite having been requested to do so after being found guilty of sexual assault.

His lawyer said on Wednesday that the former bishop, placed on sabbatical leave by the Holy Synod, has not left as his request that the bishopric find him other accommodation has not yet been satisfied.

According to his lawyer Yiannis Polychronis, a request had been submitted in late June to have the Holy Metropolis of Kiti find him new accommodation and since then there has been no change, effectively meaning that he is still living in the metropolis complex, despite having been requested to leave.

The former bishop, who was found guilty of historic sexual assault in May, demanded that the metropolis find him a house and provide security.

Polychronis had sent a letter to the Holy Synod on behalf of his client, detailing that the former bishop should have been called before the synod to give his own version of events.

“They didn’t take into account his serious medical issues, or the issues of his security. There is so much anger against him.”

Commenting to the Cyprus Mail on Wednesday, Polychronis said that they have not received a response to their letter or their demands.

Called for their take, church officials were not able to comment on the matter to the Cyprus Mail.

Speaking in June, Polychronis argued the constitution of the church specifies that the former bishop should have been called before the Holy Synod.

The Holy Synod decision ordered him to move out, but the bishopric agreed to cough up the rent of his new place.

The former bishop was handed a 12-month prison sentence suspended for three years.

Commenting to the Cyprus Mail, theologian Theodoros Kyriacou said that the bishop is “blatantly ignoring” the decision of the Holy Synod and “couldn’t care less”.

Asked about what other remedies the synod could use to remove the bishop, Kyriacou said that theoretically the current bishop of Kiti Nikiforos could call the police and have the Chrysostomos forcibly removed from the premises.

On June 1, the bishop was handed a one-year suspended prison sentence after being found guilty of a sexual assault 40 years ago.

The plaintiff, now 58, claimed that during her first visit to Chrysostomos’ office at the Kiti bishopric in 1981, the bishop sat down beside her on a sofa and began touching her hands.

He allegedly assaulted her on her fifth visit when the cleric shoved her, pressed himself on top of her and kissed her on the lips. She began repeatedly screaming “let me out”, at which point she claimed the bishop got off her and opened the door.

She was 16 years old and eight months at the time.

The day the sentence was handed out, the courtroom at Larnaca criminal court erupted into chants of “filthy rapist” as a loud protest took place outside. The bishop was escorted out surrounded by police officers, as demonstrators tried to attack his car while screaming at him.

“First you tell us to break the silence, then you whitewash a rapist,” demonstrators, including women’s groups chanted.

After the Holy Synod decided to place him a sabbatical until his appeal against the court ruling is heard.

He filed the appeal a few days before the synod decision, which included his removal from the premises of the Kiti metropolis.




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