The investigations surrounding the scandal at the Monastery of St. Avvakum, in Fterikoudi in Cyprus, are continuing. As sigmalive reports, after the publication of shocking video documents surrounding the deception of believers and the exercise of violence against persons, the authorities’ investigations continue without, however, providing a clear picture of their progress.

It is recalled that everything started when in the Holy Metropolis of Tamasos, information arrived that spoke of scandals of a financial and sexual nature, as well as scandalous behavior, which rang the bell of Metropolitan Isaiah. Under extreme secrecy, the investigation of the information began, with the result that on the afternoon of Wednesday 6/3, the Holy Monastery of Saint Havvakum was locked.

sigmalive provides an interesting timeline of developments:

March 5: The day on which the “meeting” took place in the Metropolis of Tamasos and Orinis in which the two archimandrites of the Monastery, Abbot Nektarios and Archimandrite Porphyrios, were summoned for testimony. On the same night, the “cruiser” had taken place in the Monastery to transport one of the three safes. For the safe in question there is information, which has not been refuted to date, that it contained a little more than 800 thousand euros.

March 6: Late in the afternoon of March 6, information about the closure of the Monastery of Saint Abvakum in Fterikoudi began to be published.

March 7: Early in the morning, the Police state that there was no complaint about what came to light. Shortly before noon, the reports begin about the existence of 800 thousand in the safe which was confiscated from the Monastery, as well as about properties in Greece which are in the name of the monks. At noon, a representative of the Holy Synod begins to confirm in his public interventions that the Archdiocese is investigating sexual and financial offenses against the monks. The representative even says that the very next day, Friday March 8, the Holy Synod would meet to decide on the fate of the two monks. Around the same time comes the first announcement from the monks’ side, through a lawyer, in which they categorically deny what they see in the public light. Among other things, they note for the first time that the evidence presented to the Metropolitan of Tamasos and Orinis is forged and the product of criminal behavior (illegal recording, processing and use of audio-visual material). In the afternoon, the two monks return with a new announcement through lawyers requesting a hearing from the Holy Synod. It is noted that this is the announcement in which the names of the two are mentioned for the first time.

March 8: The day the Synod met for the first time on the subject. Early in the afternoon of the same day, the Holy Synod concluded after a long session and decided to refer the two monks before the six-member Synodal Court. As announced by the Representative of the Synod, the two archimandrites on holiday did not answer the summons to appear before the Synod. The same afternoon, the lawyers of the monks come back with a statement in which they state that what they saw in the light of pink scandals concern another monk and not the two of them. They also talk about the illegal detention of the monks in the Metropolis of Tamasos on the evening of March 5. In the evening of the same day and after the conclusion of the Holy Synod, the Metropolitan of Tamasos goes to the Police, where he reports and now the Police announces the investigation “concerning the commission of crimes of an economic nature”.

March 9: The Police, through its representative, responds for the first time to the criticisms it received for inaction. Among other things, he stated that the Attorney General was in communication from the first moment, both with the Chief of Police, and with the Archbishop, with the Police maintaining a waiting attitude until decisions are made by the Holy Synod. The same morning, the information becomes known that the two monks went to the Police station of Lakatamia with the purpose of denouncing Metropolitan Isaias. A little later the two monks issue a new announcement through lawyers and complain that 4 police stations refused to take their statement. In the afternoon, SigmaLive reveals a complaint from a third monk in which he claims that on the evening of March 5 he saw about 30 hooded men “raid” the monastery. “I personally know that the Metropolitan of Tamasos systematically and continuously demanded sums of money from the elder Nektarios. “Many times the Elder even asked me for folders and placed in them monies of the Monastery so that he could hand them over to the Metropolitan,” he states, among other things, in his complaint. Early in the evening, the Metropolis of Tamasou, with its announcement, invites the faithful to report any incidents of fraud, financial or of another nature, by the Abvakum Monastery.

11 March: The Police state that investigations into the scandal are in full swing. He pointed out that two investigative teams have been set up. The first concerns the complaints from the Holy Metropolis on matters of a financial nature. And the second one of the TAE Headquarters will investigate the complaints made by some monks of the specific Monastery and concerning offenses of assault and rape. Asked about reports of hooded men, he replied that “we have seen them from the reports”, they will also be investigated. At noon, ecclesiastical sources report that the two monks were summoned by the Holy Synod without a specific date to attend with their lawyers and witnesses and the Metropolitan of Tamasos with his own witnesses. At the same time, they state that the Synod will meet behind closed doors. In the afternoon, SigmaLive reveals a fourth monk’s complaint against Metropolitan Isaiah. He also complains that he received threats and that his signature was secured against his will “in the confession and incrimination of Elder Nektarios and Archimandrite Porphyrios”. Among other things, he states that he fears for his life and requests protection from the Police. A little later, the monks come back with a new announcement through their lawyers and state that they are handing over witness material to the authorities. Furthermore, one of the complaining fathers has reported that in addition to his abduction and illegal detention by the Metropolitan of Tamasos and Orinis, physical violence was used against him, they note in their statement.

March 12: In the evening, the lawyers of the monks issue a statement in which they complain that the Synodal Court was formed irregularly.

March 13: The day begins with the meeting of the Synod Court. In the morning, the Department of Taxation issues a notice announcing that it will begin an investigation into the Monastery’s compliance with its obligations to the state. The first reaction of the former Abbot Nektarios is known from Greek media, who calls the world to pray for him. At noon of the same day, Politis publishes a video in which the placing of the cross in “myrrh” is recorded in order to give the feeling of myrrh. The lawyers respond that the video in question is staged. A little later the Synodal Court announces that evidence has emerged and will request further investigation by the Synod’s investigative committee. On the evening of March 13, ecclesiastical sources report to KYPE that the timetable regarding the completion of the case concerning the Holy Monastery of St. Avvakum seems impossible to implement in terms of the initial goals that were to be completed before Easter, after the new data that emerged and the decision of the Synodal Court to ask the Investigative Committee of the Holy Synod to carry out further investigations.

March 14: The day is marked by the revealing video in which the beating of a woman by a monk of the Abvakum Monastery is recorded. A short time later, the Police announced the initiation of an ex officio investigation regarding what was recorded in the video. Early in the afternoon, the Minister of Justice is also present for the first time, who mentions that the Police acted promptly from the first. Politis publishes a video in which the monks cheat on other nuns after they tell them that the cross keeps smelling but they don’t want to make a show. In the afternoon of the same day, the woman who stars in the video publicly states that she does not have any complaints from the monk. A little while later the Legal Service announces the appointment of criminal investigators to conduct investigations together with the Police investigators.

March 15: The Police announce that they have 800 thousand as evidence. The Police received as evidence for the investigation of the Abvakum Monastery case, the more than eight hundred thousand euros, which were in a safe of the Monastery, the closed circuit surveillance material and documents. At noon, the Archbishop intervenes for the first time and declares that such phenomena will not be tolerated. In the afternoon, the lawyers of the monks issue a statement in which they leave points regarding the handling and presence of the Police in the Metropolis of Tamasos and also in the Abvakum Monastery. In the evening of the same day, SIGMA reveals a video recording the transfer of an unlifted object from the Monastery.

March 17: Metropolitan Isaias is installed for the first time. Early in the evening the Archbishop appeals to end the release of videos. A representative of the Holy Synod states that the two monks will be called for testimony within days. In the afternoon, the Investigative Committee announced that they would not make any statements and at the same time called for peace ahead of Lent.

March 20: Publications state that there is also a complaint of sexual harassment against a person by a monk of the Monastery.

March 21: President and members of the investigative committee confirmed their intention not to make statements about the case of the Holy Monastery of Abvakum. They refused to answer whether or not the two Archimandrites on holiday went for questioning on Thursday (21/3).