In the context of the multi-day pastoral visit of Archbishop Makarios to Victoria, a Priestly Synaxis of clergy serving in the Archdiocesan Districts of Melbourne and Northcote wad held on Tuesday, 9 August along with the presence of Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis and Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta, Archiepiscopal Vicars of Melbourne and the Northcote Archdiocesan Districts respectively.

During the Priestly Synaxis, in addition to Archbishop Makarios, Bishop Themistocles of Nicopolis, of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, also spoke on the topic “The ministry of the cleric in the Mission field”. Following the presentation of missionary work in Sierra Leone, Bishop Themistocles delved into the difficulties he faces there, due to the temperament of the people and the already existing old traditions. Falling under the umbrella of respecting others and promoting a language of love through non-violent communication, various administrative and practical issues were discussed next.

On the note of unity, the Bishops of Melbourne and Northcote and the priests referred to alleged irregular and inappropriate behaviour of the priest Fr. Eleftherios Tatsis, who, although had been invited to the Priestly Synaxis, did not attend nor justify his absence from his duty, according to the Archdiocese.

After a long discussion, the priests of the Melbourne and Northcote Districts unanimously declared that they “disapprove and do not accept what Fr. Eleftherios preaches and does against the Church, the Bishops and other clergy, The Premier of Victoria and other political figures, and they requested of His Eminence to regulate the case of Fr. Eleftherios in accordance with the provisions of the Holy Canons, hoping first and foremost for the repentance and return of the said clergyman”.

Following the publication of the Synaxis minutes, a wave of intense reactions flooded the pages of the Archdiocese, the Facebook page of the Holy Monastery of Panagia Kamariani, Red Hill as well as Fr. Eleftherios’ personal page on Facebook, titled Pappa Lefteris – Red Hill Australia which has over 14,000 followers.

More than 2,100 reactions were in favour of Fr. Eleftherios with 800 commentators clearly expressing their support.

It is not the first time that Fr. Eleftherios’ fiery sermons have garnered harsh comments from the clergy, politicians and parishioners regarding his conservative views towards the LGBTGIA+ community, inflammatory comments in regards to gay marriage and his views against COVID-measures such as masks and vaccines.

Neos Kosmos has contacted Fr. Eleftherios for a comment regarding the announcement but he has not yet received a response.

It is unclear whether Fr. Eleftherios will respond officially during his regular sermon on the Sunday 14 August liturgy at the Panagia Kamariani church in Red Hill or on the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God liturgy on Monday, 15 August.

More to come.