Bishop Isichios of Capitolias in Jerusalem was asked to step down from his duties last week, as the Patriarchate of Jerusalem called for an investigation of allegations against him. The Metropolitan is involved in a sex scandal that surfaced after footage of him engaging in sexual activity with a transgender woman from Greece surfaced online. Afroditi Konstantinou, a former sex worker, claims that she had had an affair with the bishop that lasted more than five years.
Accusing Isichios Kontogiannis of exploiting her feelings towards him and abusing her physically and mentally, Konstantinou posted the videos on her Facebook page, calling for Patriarch Theofilos of Jerusalem to fire him.
These claims created a turmoil in the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, given that Isichios is one of the Patriarch’s trusted bishops – and he had been instrumental in the uprising against former Patriarch Irineos and the installment of Theofilos.
Details of the affair have been flooding Greek media since Konstantinou decided to go against her former lover. She has been posting photos taken in his home, as well as screenshots of their communication, both during the affair, as well as recent ones. In one such exchange, she’s asking Isichios on his whereabouts, to receive a photo of him alongside Alexis Tsipras, during the Greek PM’s visit to Jerusalem. In another, Isichios allegedly threatens her, writing that she will end up in jail. In a third, she’s allegedly texting “I’m sorry that I loved a scum like you.”
Bishop Isichios has a history in Melbourne as well. In the early 1990s, the Metropolitan of Capitolias was invited to Melbourne by the defrocked priest Ierotheos Kourtesis, as a representative of the Jerusalem Patriarchate. Ierotheos had been engaged in a very public animosity against Archbishop Stylianos, and called for the Jerusalelm Patriarchate’s intervention in the long-standing friction between the Greek Community of Melbourne and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Both Ierotheos and Isichios were accused by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew of interference in another jurisdiction and conspiracy against another church, namely the Ecumenical Patriarchate. During that time there had been many allegations of improper conduct on his part, a large number of which had been reported to Neos Kosmos without any of them becoming public.