The embassy of the Russian Federation in Cyprus has stressed that the Russian Orthodox Church always respects the Autocephaly of the Church of Cyprus and is guided by the principle of the Church of Cyprus absolute jurisdiction all over the island.
The statement from the Russian Embassy follows a report in “Phileleftheros” newspaper about a so called “Russian Orthodox Church of Northern Cyprus” that operates in the Turkish occupied town of Kyrenia, under clergyman Alexi Ivanov.
Invited to comment on the news story, the Russian embassy spokesperson told CNA that the embassy follows the situation closely and is in constant contact with the Russian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate representative in Cyprus.
Moreover, citing an official confirmation by the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, the spokesperson noted that Alexei Ivanov, who calls himself a clergyman of the “Russian Orthodox Church Abroad” and is the head of this organization’s parish in the city of Kyrenia, is not and has never been a cleric of the Russian Orthodox Church, has no canonical ordination and is not in communion with the Plenitude of the Orthodox Church.
The embassy spokesperson said that this confirmation has been handed over to the Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos. Moreover she stressed that the representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate are sent to Cyprus to conduct masses for Russian speaking Orthodox inhabitants at the Church of Cyprus Bishoprics of Limassol and Trymithounta.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.
An illegal breakaway state declared independence unilaterally, on November 15, 1983, in the areas under Turkish occupation, an action condemned by the UN Security Council and the international community as legally null and void.
(Cyprus News Agency)