May 21, 2024

True Orthodox Diocese of Western Europe

Russian True Orthodox Church (RTOC)

“Archbishop” George of the “Orthodox Church” of Cyprus Attends the Ordination of the New Latin Vicar Bishop

2 min read

Msgr. Bruno Varriano, OFM, the Patriarchal Vicar for Cyprus, as a Bishop.  340 years after the presence of the last bishop of the Catholic Church on the Island of Cyprus.

“We gather in this special place for an equally special event: the consecration of a Latin bishop, at the service of the island of Cyprus,” said H.B. Card. Pizzaballa, while expressing that: “The last resident Latin bishop on the island died exactly 340 years ago.”

“Archbishop George” the head of Cyprus’ Orthodox Church, who also attended as a representative of the Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem, along with the Armenian Metropolitan of Cyprus, and the heads of the Evangelical churches were present.

Following almost nine centuries of Byzantine rule, Cyprus was conquered by the Crusaders in 1191 and controlled the Island until 1571.

After the establishment of the Latin Kingdom of Cyprus, a parallel Catholic religious hierarchy was established alongside the pre-existing Orthodox hierarchy. Assisted by royal power and supported by successive popes, they embarked on a campaign of conversions, religious pressures, and power struggles targeting the Orthodox communities on the island.

The majority of Orthodoxy bishops were forced into exile and all Orthodox clergy was persecuted.

It seems the “Orthodox” of Cyprus have forgotten this persecution and the monk-martyrs of the Holy Monastery of Kantara.

The martyrs of Kantara are thirteen Orthodox monks from the Kantara monastery in Cyprus, persecuted and executed in May 1231 at the request of Pope Gregory IX and under the direction of his emissary, Andrew. After an inquisition trial for refusing the use of unleavened bread for the Eucharist, they were imprisoned, tortured, and then burned alive. One of them died in prison before the execution.

The martyred monks names were Abbot John, Conon, Jeremiah, Mark, Theoctistus, Cyril, Barnabas, Maximus, Joseph, Theognostus, Germanus, Gennadius and Gerasimus

Gregory IX was known as a particularly uncompromising and violent pope; in 1231, the same year as the martyrdom of the monks, he issued the bull “Excommunicatus”, confirming that the punishment for heretics was death.

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