News & Current Affairs

Women Continue to File Complaints Against Ex-Bishop

By Azeezat Okunlola | May 22, 2023
Following his conviction for the historic sexual assault of a minor girl 42 years ago, former Larnaca Bishop Chrysostomos has been accused of sexual misconduct by more women.
Phileleftheros Daily reports that in addition to the six women who have previously filed charges against the prominent cleric, two more are ready to come forward.
After a year-long trial, the Larnaca District Court convicted the high-ranking priest guilty of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in 1981 based on the testimony of the now-58-year-old victim and the defence witnesses.
Six women have already spoken with law enforcement and two more have sought counsel from a well-known theologian.
The theologian Theodoros Kyriacou told Phileleftheros that two additional women have contacted him in the wake of the court's judgment this week.
“They told me they had fallen prey to the former Larnaca Bishop. So I advised them to file an official complaint with the police,” said Kyriacou.
Four women came forward in 2021, and two more said so during the trial of the sexual assault of the 16-year-old girl.
Christos Andreou, a spokesman for the police department, encouraged anyone with such a complaint to come forward, saying that the police department has a unit specifically for investigating allegations of sexual assault.
“In recent years, a large number of similar cases have been investigated.
“We, at the police force, guarantee that we will handle their case with confidentiality,” said Andreou.
While the court deliberates, the Holy Synod will decide what to do with the ex-bishop.
According to Phileleftheros, Kyriacou said that the Synod has three choices to consider after the former bishop's sentencing at the end of the month.
Kyriacou suggests that defrocking the ex-bishop should be considered first. The second is to forbid him from leading worship and preaching, and the third is to force him out of the Larnaca Bishopric and into a monastery.
On June 13th, the Holy Synod will meet again.
Kyriacou suggested that the Holy Synod defrock the ex-bishop, but he doesn't think the church's top officials have the guts to follow through.
“Because he is an old colleague of theirs, I believe that they will send him on leave."
“I personally believe that they should defrock him to deter other clerics from behaving in a similar manner”.