Archbishop Chrysostomos spoke on the Sigmalive television network about the operation of the so-called “Russian Orthodox Church of Northern Cyprus”, for about a year now, in occupied Kyrenia.
The Archbishop said that the presence of the self-styled “Russian Orthodox Church of Northern Cyprus” is unacceptable and does not belong to the official Russian Church, but is fraudulent, as he characteristically said.
He even mentioned that two years ago he had asked Russian President Putin to use his relations with the Turkish President to “let us preserve our temples in the occupied territories”.
As he said, the Russian Ambassador contacted him and said that the Russian Foreign Minister was requesting a list of the churches in the occupied territories, which the Archbishop handed over. However, the Turks agree to repair only one church and one mosque every year. “I had a plan that within one year all the Churches would be repaired,” the Archbishop noted.
Yesterday, the Archbishop of Cyprus stated that it this is an “unacceptable situation” commenting on a report by philenews.com on the “Russian Orthodox Church of Northern Cyprus”, based in occupied Kyrenia.
The Archbishop stressed that Russians have illegally settled in the area and many must have occupied Greek Cypriot properties. This, he pointed out, is a major issue. However, he noted that priest Aleksei Ivanov is anti-canonical and does not belong to the Russian Orthodox Church. Regarding Metropolitan Agathangelos, who ordained him, he said that he too should not belong to the Russian Orthodox Church.
When asked if he has contacted the Moscow Patriarchate, the Archbishop gave a negative answer. “I will raise the issue at the Holy Synod on September 5 and we will issue a statement,” he said.
The Russian Embassy in Nicosia has sent a letter to the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department of External Church Relations. The letter is dated 4.2.2019 and is addressed to Pavel Povalyaev, a clergyman of St. Nicholas Parish in Limassol. It states that the Department of External Church Relations confirms that Alexei Ivanov “who calls himself a clergyman of the ‘Russian Orthodox Church Abroad’ and is head of the parish of the city of Kyrenia, has never been a clergyman of the Russian Orthodox Church, has not been canonically ordained and is not in communion with the Orthodox Church.”
However, the affidavit does not mention Metropolitan Agathangelos, who ordained Alexei Ivanov in Kyrenia.
In a statement, the Russian embassy states that “official representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Cyprus are sent to hold liturgies for the Russian-speaking Orthodox residents in the Metropolis of Limassol and the Metropolis of Tremithus. The Russian Orthodox Church always behaves with respect to the autocephalous Church of Cyprus and is guided by the principle of the absolute jurisdiction of the Church of Cyprus on its canonical territory, which extends throughout the island.”