February 28, 2024

The Unorthodox Position on Holy Relics by a Cypriot Theologian

By Vasilios Haralambous, theologian

In an article published on the SigmaLive website dated 2/2/2024, titled "Theological Battle for the Holy Zoni: The Child Resurrected - Divine Grace is Not Stored," we note, among other things, the following: "A great uproar has been caused in the last few days on the subject of the circulation of relics, bones and icons for veneration."

Unfortunately, these things are mentioned on the occasion of the Holy Zoni of our Panagia arriving in Cyprus. However, there has been no commotion. No disturbance has been caused. There was no turmoil, no confusion. The Cypriot state officially welcomed the Holy Zoni of the Panagia, together with the people of Cyprus. What ruckus are they talking about?

Not even the political parties were worried about the arrival of the Holy Zoni, as a multitude of people from all parties venerated the miraculous Holy Zoni of our Panagia. Those who did not want to venerate, have not announced it.

The article in question also noted the following: "Specifically, on the occasion of the arrival of the Holy Zoni in Cyprus, it seems that a 'division' was caused in the ecclesiastical space regarding the circulation of relics, bones and icons for veneration. From his point of view, it seems that Archbishop George is opposed to this tactic and on the other hand, the Metropolitans are on the positive side."

Publicly, the Archbishop of Cyprus has not made a statement about the arrival of the Holy Zoni of the Panagia and therefore it is not correct to make any such comment.

Also in this article the following was emphasized by Theodoros Kyriakos: "If we say now that relics or icons work miracles, then we have reached a heretical position and let me tell you why. God's grace is not stored in created objects, nor can created objects transmit God's Grace. It is the Grace of God that works the miracle, not the objects. I believe in miracles, I declare this now. The greatest miracle is each of us."

In this unorthodox position of Theodoros Kyriakos regarding the Holy Relics, normally the Church of Cyprus should have responded officially, because a position contrary to the teaching of our Church is being proclaimed. This position contradicts the teaching of our Church regarding grace-flowing Holy Relics.

Why, then, are Holy Relics placed in the Holy Altar at its consecration? Saint Nicholas Cabasilas mentions that "these bones are truly a new temple of God and an altar." Does Theodoros Kyriakos disagree with this?

"The Master Christ made the relics of the saints to be fountains of salvation to us, pouring forth manifold blessings and abounding in myrrh of sweet fragrance: and let no one disbelieve this," says Saint John of Damascus.

Officially, the Church of Cyprus should take a position on the unorthodox position of the theologian Theodoros Kyriakos. Unfortunately, the theologian in question recently discredited the teaching of the Apostle Paul on the subject of homosexuality, where again the Church did not give the proper answer. If one also takes into account the fact that the media mostly turns to him when an ecclesiastical problem arises, it becomes even more necessary for the Church of Cyprus to take a position on the matter in question.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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