Pro-Moscow Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol with the Cypriot Orthodox Church believes that Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine “is not the head of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.” Athanasios added that “non-recognition of the OCU is a matter of conscience and church canons.”
The Metropolitan of Limassol disagrees with the head of the Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos, who has recognized Epifaniy as a canonical head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, as he claims “recognition took place without the notification and consent of the Holy Synod,” Romfea reported.
It should be recalled that at the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus held on November 23-25, 2020, the hierarchs discussed in detail the mentioning of Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine by Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus and decided not to oppose the decision to recognize the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
The bishop stressed that his position is not dictated by personal preferences, as he doesn’t personally know either the head of the ROCinU, Metropolitan Onufriy, or the head of the OCU. “It was a matter of conscience, a matter of observance of the sacred canons of the Church,” said Metropolitan Athanasios.
In November 2020, Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus spoke sharply against the position of four members of the Synod of the Cypriot Archdiocese – Metropolitans Athanasios of Limassol, Nicephoros of Kykkos, Isaiah of Tamassos, and Archbishop Nicholas of Amathounta.
Metropolitan of Limassol and the Russian footprint
Athanasios comes from Cyprus. He was a monk on Mount Athos for some time where he was ordained. He later came back to Cyprus, where he was elected Metropolitan of Limassol.
In November 2020, the Synod of the Cyprus Orthodox Church took place, where the granting of autocephaly to the OCU was recognized by a majority vote (17 against 10). This took place against the background of the stormy reaction of the four Cypriot clerics to the decision of Archbishop Chrysostomos II to mention Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and recognize the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
After that, the head of the Church of Cyprus said that he knew a way to “put them in their place.”
On February 5, 2021, in Limassol, the crosses were consecrated and the domes were installed on the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker of the Russian Orthodox Church. The ROC, realizing that it is losing its authority and drowning in own lies, is trying to bribe everyone who succumbs to easy money. Based on the Limassol temple, Russia runs a network of assets, including notorious Alexander Voznesensky, who has been involved in a circulating fake news about the religious situation in Ukraine.
On October 26, 2020, Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol told the Greek newspaper ΚΥΠΕ that “whatever the majority says, we will follow, even if we don’t agree.” “I may disagree, but I obey what the majority of the Synod says,” he added.
Later, he starred in video appeals, siding with the ROCinU and claiming it is being “persecuted” in Ukraine.