Cyprus church defrocks priest for 1st time over sex offense
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A senior cleric says Cyprus’ Orthodox Christian Church has for the first time defrocked a priest for sexually abusing his step-daughter when she was a child.
Kykkos Bishop Nikiforos said Wednesday the Holy Synod’s decision was unanimous.
The case shocked the conservative east-Mediterranean island nation after the 29-year-old victim was found dead in her home last month.
Many were outraged when local media revealed that the priest kept his job after a criminal court jailed him in 2013 for the same crime, which took place in the ’90s. His conviction was upheld on appeal.
The priest — who can appeal the church decision — denied wrongdoing. Orthodox priests are allowed to marry.
Bishop Nikiforos said the church will act to avoid delays in handling such issues in the future.