WHAT a shame that the hilarious goings-on in a start-up monastery none but the ultra-faithful had heard of, named Osiou Avakoum, in a village with a ludicrous name, Fterikoudi, overshadowed Prezniktwo’s finest hour so far – the materialisation of his crusade for a humanitarian sea corridor from Kyproulla to Gaza.

The two monks running the start-up, which was set up in 2020, had raised large amounts of money and were said to have invested some of it in two apartments – in Piraeus and Limassol – while some 800 grand was allegedly found in the monastery safe.

There was also film footage of them having sex with each other, which was shown to the Holy Synod on Friday when the scandalised long-beards of the church met to decide what to do with the sinful, young monks.

Both snubbed the session, despite several phone calls and text messages being sent to them by the Synod secretary, presumably because they had signed a letter asking to be defrocked, something their lawyers subsequently claimed they had been forced to do.

The bishops decided to set up a six-member, Synod tribunal to try the fallen monks, despite their entrepreneurial spirit and the successful business model of generating cash through the staging of miracles – a cross secreting fluid – and selling merchandise. If anything, they showed that miracles work.

IF THERE was no gay sex in the equation the resourceful monks would probably have been eligible for a church business award, for turning a start-up monastery after less than four years into highly profitable enterprise. How many fledgling businesses have 800 grand in cash and real estate assets after three years of operations? Their success could be described as a miracle.

In the process, the entrepreneurial monks reportedly pissed off the Fterikoudians because they used the miracle to sell products such as halloumi and pittas, and nobody was buying these products from the villagers.

Their sex acts were apparently caught on the monastery CCTV, shocking the homophobic long-beards, who announced a zero-tolerance policy towards gay priests. The Holy Synod urged the Christian flock to “stay calm and not be scandalised by the moral fall of people, even clerics having confidence in it and faith in God.”

The Holy Synod, said its chief secretary, “declares categorically to the devout Christian people that it is determined to bring a purge to the ranks of the church and calls on people not to hesitate to report, with proof, to Her(sic) any behaviour by clerics, or monks, which is incompatible with their work.”

The devout will now have to rat on gay priests as our church remains a bastion against the dreaded diversity and inclusiveness of the modern age.

SPEAKING of priests, the spiritual guide and confessor (known in Greek as ‘pnevmatikos’) of the gastroenterologist, Dr Pavlos Antoniou, who was found guilty on four charges of indecent assault on a young female patient, tried to help him avoid time behind bars.

In his plea for mitigation, the defence lawyer produced a letter from the priest, urging the court not to impose a custodial sentence on the 62-year-old doctor. In his letter, the pnevmatikos said he knew the doc through confession and he was “an excellent scientist of good character”.

I can understand a priest vouching for someone’s character, but what authority or qualifications does he have to declare a doctor an excellent scientist? Is he some kind of expert on gastroenterology? The judge ignored the priest’s dubious character reference and sentenced the doctor to four months in prison.

What is the world coming to when not even a priest can help an excellent scientist avoid prison for indecently assaulting his patient?

THE BAD press continues to hound AG Giorgos Savvides and in the latest case he had done nothing wrong other than refusing to violate the constitution on the orders of the president, mindlessly pandering to public opinion.

Immediately after an 82-year-old man was sentenced by Limassol court to two-and-a-half years in prison for shooting and injuring a man trying to steal electricity cables from his house, Prezniktwo announced that he would be pardoned.

The man was in poor health, had mobility problems and had reported thefts at his house, where he lived on his own, to police on four separate occasions in the past. Under the circumstances, the custodial sentence was regarded very harsh, and grandad, quite rightly had the public’s sympathy. Public opinion fully supported a presidential pardon.

The only problem was that the AG could not sanction such a move for constitutional reasons. If there was a presidential pardon a couple of days after the court’s decision it would be a blatant contravention of the separation of powers – the executive over-ruling the judiciary.

So, Savvides is the bad guy once again, while the man showing utter disregard for the constitution he should be the custodian of, is the good guy.

THE FIRST shipment of humanitarian aid for Gaza was set to leave Larnaca port by Sunday, according to the latest reports.

Prezniktwo was glowing with pride when he visited the Larnaca coordination centre with the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, as his initiative had finally come to fruition and the centre of the universe was on the world news for positive reasons, for a change.

His schmoozing with von der Leyen conjured up images of ‘toyboy with mature woman,’ even though it was entirely innocent. He had every reason to be nice to the commission president, especially as she had said she was “proud of” him for his “leadership role” in her speech at the European People’s Party conference on Thursday.

His spin doctors were quick to release the video excerpt showing von der Leyen’s publicly stating her pride in our prez. His social media disciples and cheerleaders were ecstatic, informing us that “for the first time a president of the commission praises, in celebratory tone… a Cypriot president.”

The part of the video, in which the commission president found reason to say she was “so proud of” Donald Tusk, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Andrej Plenkovic, Klaus Iohannis, Leo Varadkar and Petteri Orpo, whose support she is relying on for a second term, was not circulated by the spin doctors.

THE GOVERNMENT’S decision to snub the Unficyp reception held to mark the 60th anniversary of UN presence in Kyproulla had the name of national security advisor, Tasos Tzionis (the anti-settlement warrior who will help the prez solve the Cyprob) written all over it. Even if he did not take the decision himself, his legacy at the foreign ministry, of Cyprob negativity lives on.

This is the paranoid legacy of proving procedural points at all costs because this is what the foreign ministry specialises in. Among the explanations for the snub was that Unficyp had not consulted the host country about the reception and had planned to treat it as bicommunal event at which the Turkish Cypriot pseudo-officals would be invited.

Defending the snub, deputy government spokesman Yiannis Antoniou, said “we want to send the correct messages.” He did not elaborate but for outsiders treating the UN with contempt could be construed as sending the wrong messages.

THE CYPROB remained at the epicentre of the government’s priorities said Prezniktwo in his televised appearance, reviewing his first year in office. The aim of the government, he said, was “the liberation and reunification of our country”.

All our politicians mention “liberation” as their objective, even though they ignore the fact that liberation is not handed to any country on a plate nor is it achieved at the negotiating table. You need to fight for liberation, something no Greek Cypriot is prepared to do and put at risk their comfortable lifestyle. They are more likely to fight for cheaper car fuel than for liberation.

Perhaps, liberation could be achieved by the Tzionis method of fighting procedural wars and boycotting receptions.

ARE WE heading for a Soviet-style command economy and the abolition of the free market? This was the impression given after the cabinet prepared a bill that would allow the commerce minister to set maximum prices for widely consumed goods at specific points of sale.

Commerce minister Giorgos Papanastasiou suggested a maximum price could be set for bottled water at airport and ports. Will this improve living standards and increase people’s disposable income? Of course not, so why will it be done?

Hopefully the minister will also intervene when people report rip-off prices at specific points of sale. If he does, I will give him the name of a Nicosia restaurant that charges €12 for three sheftalia, which is night-time robbery. I can assure the minister that sheftalia are widely consumed.