Archbishop says Anti-Pope attacks ‘outside of the church’
By George Psyllides, Cyprus Mail
Published on May 19, 2010
THE [Orthodox Archbishop of Nova Justiniana and All Cyprus, Chrysostomos II,] yesterday slammed religious groups who oppose the Pope’s visit in June, warning that they put themselves outside the Church.
A group, calling itself the ‘Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Motherland Traditions’, has been circulating a booklet entitled Pope: The Cause Of Evil.
“Unfortunately there are in Cyprus too, the mindless who go against the decisions of the official Church,” Archbishop Chrysostomos II said.
He warned that these people were placing themselves outside the Church.
The Archbishop said the Pontiff had been officially invited to Cyprus by the government with the Church’s agreement and “as the official Church we will welcome him with love and respect.”
Chrysostomos II said there will not be any talks between the Church and Pope.
“We will exchange views and I believe his visit will be positive and beneficial for our country and our people,” Chrysostomos II said.
He urged those who opposed the visit to “come round” and listen to the official church.
The 134-page booklet that is being put in people’s mail boxes seeks to remind people of the serious differences between Orthodoxy and “Papism” so that clerics and laypeople “view this visit in accordance with the holy rules of the Orthodox Church.”
Among other claims, the booklet makes historical references to the Second World War and the alleged actions of Catholics against the Orthodox.
“Many naïve Cypriots … will tomorrow raise their eyes to view the blessing hand of the Roman Pontiff, ignoring the fact that the blood dripping from this hand has created rivers,” the booklet said. “The institution of Papism is not only godless and antichrist but also criminal and murderous.”
“Popes did nothing substantive to condemn their sinful past and try and correct their crimes,” the booklet said.