English Edition

Two Cypriot families suing Church for $2,200,000 because sons became monks

Moscow, June 28, 2017

Screenshot from http://www.dronestagr.am/machairas-monastery/ Screenshot from http://www.dronestagr.am/machairas-monastery/

Two local Greek Cypriot families have accused Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol, Abbot Epiphanios of Machairas Monastery, and the Cypriot Orthodox Church of pushing their sons into monasticism, suing them for a sum of 2 million euros ($2,271,200) as compensation for “moral damages,” reports Russian Athens.

The judicial process, unusual for Orthodox countries, is set to begin on Thursday.

Machairas Monastery is an historic monastery dedicated to the Entrance of the Theotokos Into the Temple, located about 25 miles from the capital city of Nicosia. It was founded at the end of the 12th century close to the current village of Lazanias.

The clergymen gradually came into the life of a now-44-year-old monk’s life in 2002, affecting his development, and alienating him from his family, the mother who initially brought the case claims. “They resolutely opposed us, and he stopped being himself and became their follower,” the mother laments.

According to the mother’s testimony, her then 28-year-old son was “strong, energetic, and outgoing, with many interests; he was bohemian, with a sense of humor, a people person; he loved boxing, hunting, shooting, and diving.”

“He didn’t have anything to do with religion, and he was in serious relationship with a girl whom he was planning to marry. All of this changed, however, when the elder [Met. Athanasios] came into his life. My son began to confess and commune every week,” the sorrowful mother recalls.

Five years later, in 2007, the son declared that he was leaving his doctoral program and becoming a monk. The mother is accusing Met. Athanasios of not listening to her complaints and not trying to dissuade her son from his decision. Instead, the hierarch replied that her son is already an adult, able to decide for himself what to do with his life.

Another woman has joined in the same case, whose son also became a monk at Machairas. Both mothers accuse the monastery of “brainwashing” their sons, which they believe is proven by a talk the metropolitan had with monks of the monastery. The women are in possession of a video recording in which the metropolitan speaks about having a “holy contempt” for themselves and for their former lives, and not communicating with their parents, which, seemingly unbeknownst to them, is a traditional monastic spiritual practice.

Tomorrow’s case is reminiscent of events surrounding St. Anthony’s Monastery in Florence, AZ in the early 2000s. Fox News KVOA TV 4 in Tucson aired a segment on February 9, 2006, no longer available online, which featured three sets of parents who were similarly upset that their sons had abandoned the pursuit of earthly glory in order to offer their lives to Christ in monasticism.

One of the monks, Fr. Theologos Pantanizopoulos was blessed to post a response online, after his parents continually slandered the monastery and their son’s new life. In his testimonial he recounts why he became a monk, stating, “It was God's hand guiding me from the way that I was that led me to monasticism. If you could have seen me then... “

28 / 06 / 2017

See also:
2017-06-30
16:34
Catrina Bennett:
Judas put a price on The Lord's head too.
The Lord will price the parents also, and they will answer to Him.
2017-06-30
13:03
RONALD A. G. SARKIS:
Apparently, the devil played a silly role in this story. Awfully and sadly, both families found Cyprian Lawyers to represent them before Courts against the Holy Church. As much as I know as to Cyprian Laws and Usances, Courts should order both mad cases be dismissed.
2017-06-30
07:49
Chrystalla Aresti Castellano:
Those parents should be ashamed of themselves, how dare they. Of course, the bloody devil has them where he wants them to be lowlife greedy money mongrels! I would be proud if my two sons became monks rather seeing them being your typical arrogant sex driven wanker, smoking his lungs away, drinking his pathetic liver and then a fake and very expensive wedding that costs thousands of euros just so those idiot ignorant parents can sit proudly and say that's my "boy". No wander Cypriots have become sad beings, lost their faith but gained the love of money. Good on you parents of this generation just sit tight and wait for not just another haircut but it will be a neckslash! God Bless Fr A!!!
2017-06-28
22:43
Adelia Hitt:
This is a matter as St Paul advised for the church not the court to decide. However I don't think these parents want a decision. I think they want money and to brag about worldly success.
2017-06-28
21:32
Mariam V:
Shameful parents! They were happy that their sons were not in the least bit religious, and are very hypocritical by suing the monastery. They are trying to control their sons when they are not even children. Fools and blind to keep them from the possibility of salvation. Perhaps they would have been happier had their children turned out to be thugs and murderers?
2017-06-28
19:24
Anthony:
Mitr.Lemesou, Athanasios is one of the most wonderful shepherds heading our local Church in Cyprus. He is the spiritual son of St Paisios, and was sent back from Mount Athos to Cyprus as St Paisios foresaw the troubles with the turks that were brewing and did in fact break out in 1996. Many believe it is because of the prayers of people like Mitr. Athanasios that full scale war never broke out in that year between us and the turks. Mitr. Athanasios has had a number of issues with locals on this island - another father threatened to kill him when his child became a monastic. These fools don't seem to realise it's our sins that have caused our enslavement to the british and turks who are occupying our land. As St Paisios said - we are slaves to our passions - hence our land is enslaved. Build spiritual bases (monasteries), and the military ones will disappear. But the state of our people is dire. Today I went into Ayios Georgios Church. I turned around to leave, and there was a woman who had brought her dog into the Church and was lighting a candle! I told her to get her dog out but she indignantly refused. I never bothered arguing, what more can you say? This is really what has become of the Greeks of Cyprus. Suing the Church. Threatening to kill priests. And bringing dogs into Church whilst we light candles. God help us.
2017-06-28
16:24
Maria:
In my opinion the parents should be ashamed of suing the church . It is a blessing from our lord that there sons have found God and have left this sinful world we live in . I have 2 sons and wish the grace of God would touch there souls to become priest or monks. I know it's hard on the parents for which you go with separation anxiety and sometimes we choose and want to control our children's lives. We in the world have been corrupted and have no fear of God or laws , which these parents are suing the church that they have taught there children to worship. I am sadden for what are world has become!! So corrupt and maybe the parents should praise God on the enlightenment of there sons
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