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Disgraced bishop vacates Kiti residence, moves to village

Former Bishop Chrysostomos of Kition (left)

Former Kiti bishop Chrysostomos, who was found guilty of sexual assault, has moved to his village of Paliometocho, after weeks of refusing to follow orders from the Holy Synod to leave the Kiti metropolis in Larnaca, when the church placed him on sabbatical, sources close to the church said on Friday.

According to theologian Theodoros Kyriacou, the bishop left the metropolis and went to stay in his village outside of Nicosia.

Last week, the former bishop’s lawyer said that the cleric had 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 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.

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