Calm, open-minded, tolerant, with humor… These were the descriptions that accompanied the metropolitan of Morphou Neophytos after his election to the metropolitan throne.
People who know him well, his old friends, find it hard to believe that what he said in his recent speech, stirring up a storm of reactions, are words that came out of his mouth. “Excluded”, “is it a montage?”, “Probably some phrases were isolated to expose him”… are the first reactions to the reports about homosexuals and the parallel of abortions with the murders of Nikolas Metaxas.
A friend of his, from the law years in Athens, said that they should see him talk to understand what is happening. “If I had not watched the video, I could never have believed that Neophytos, who is the spiritual father of several homosexuals, whom he has known for many years and maintains spiritual relations with, despite the fact that as a priest he rejects this, never said such things. sexual behavior “. What they still say is that “the elder has always been categorical about the homosexual behavior of priests and especially bishops, but he showed tolerance to the laity, believing that it is something that is 'corrected'”.
Behind the words… Alexis
In a recent speech on homosexuality last June, he said he had an alginate impression that “pride parades” were being held by homosexuals, arguing that the word “pride” was not accidental. “As the song says, Alexis is hiding behind the words”, said the metropolitan, adding that “behind the parades of pride is hidden the demonic procession” of these people.
His statements no longer concern only public opinion, but also the state institutions. The Attorney General gave instructions for criminal investigation, while the government, parties, the Archbishop and at least one metropolitan each expressed, with different intensity, their opposition to the views of Metropolitan Morphou, according to Homer Masouras. He limited himself to stating that he expressed the positions of the Church and the saints and reserved the right to answer after the fasts of the 15th of August. However, the first councilor of the Diocese of Morphou, Fotios, replied, who probably made the situation worse than it seemed. We will not try to repeat what the metropolitan of Morphou said or add to the criticism leveled at him. We will look for the stations in its course from the Zodiac in 1962 to Evrychos (seat of the metropolis) in 2019.
Difficult years and losses
Homer was born in 1962 in the occupied Zodiac. He is the second child of Nikolas and Milia Masoura. He was baptized Homer by mistake. They had the impression that the name Homer was the male of Myrophora, which was the name of his grandmother. He says that this mistake was revealed to him by the elder Iakovos Tsalikis, who was recently canonized. If the mistake had not been made, he would have been baptized Myron, but anyway when he decided to become a monk he took the name Neophytos and so the “mistake” was corrected.
At the age of 8 he lost his father and grew up with his mother and brother Peter. In 1974, with the Turkish invasion, the family was forced to leave their home in the village and move to a refugee settlement in Nicosia. However, in 1974 marked the life of Homer, after his brother at the age of 24, having taken part in the battles against the Turks, was killed in a car accident while going to the village of Pedoulas to meet his mother. Just a few days after the invasion.
The Jew and the death of Peter
Homer was then 12 years old and was going to high school. Within a few years he had lost his father, his brother, his home and his village. He carried all this as a heavy burden. However, the heaviest burden, as he says, was the “why” for the death of his brother. He said that the answer was given to him after a prayer by Saint Iakovos Tsalikis at the Monastery of Saint David in Evia. He told him that while studying in Israel, his brother had fallen in love with a Jew who had decided to marry him and that the whole family wanted to go to Israel. “There you would lose your faith and your mother would melt when she saw the deterioration of her children,” Elder James told him, adding that “this Jew was not accidental, because she had a lot of gold but no Christ. “God chose not to hurt you spiritually and decided to reap your brother at the age of 24.” The mother of Metropolitan Neophytos lived to be 94 and died in 2015.
From the Left, to Law, to God
Homer as a refugee in the first years after the invasion of 1974 did not maintain close contact with the Church. In fact, he had joined the student department of EDON, the PEOM (Pancyprian Unified Student Organization). At the Acropolis High School in Nicosia, he was also elected president of the students. He was discharged from military service as his mother's protector after losing his father and brother. Politicized in the late 1970s, he left for Athens to study law. He lived in the dormitory in Ilisia and then began to notice his inclination towards religion, through contacts he had with three modern saints. Saint Porphyrios, Saint Paisios and Saint Iakovos Tsalikis. “I never loved law,” he says, “and he even considered leaving it to study Philosophy or History.” “In the second year of Law in November 1980,” he says, “I know for the first time Elder Porphyrios, who advises me not to leave Law. You will get this degree! You will delay it for a year, because you will go from monastery to monastery, but you have to take it. I am not talking to you, but the Holy Spirit. This degree will one day be requested by the Archbishop of Cyprus'. As it happened! In 1998 I was ordained and enthroned Metropolitan of Morphou and in the first session of the Synod I attended, the then Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos I appointed me, due to his law degree, to an investigative committee to investigate some economic problems at the time. Saint Porphyrios had seen this moment years ago! “
Homer's closest friend in those years was Gerasimos, who later became metropolitan of Kefallinia and died in 2015.
Waiter in Spetses
Homer worked as a waiter in the summers to be able to afford his studies. He himself narrates an incident with Saint Iakovos Tsalikis:
“I told him that I wanted to go to Spetses to work as a waiter. When I went I wanted to stop, why were there so many temptations and what did the saint tell me? You will become a monk but you will not remain a monk forever. You will become a bishop in the place where you were born. You will constantly associate with people, so you have to scare people. The best university is not Law. It's Spetses, stay a waiter in Spetses' “.
Bases in Cyprus!
The meeting of Homer (Metropolitan of Morphou) with Saint Paisios on Mount Athos took place in 1982. Paisios insisted that he should not go as a monk to Mount Athos. “Go to Cyprus,” she told him. “Make spiritual bases, and these bases will drive out the Bases.” When asked what he meant by the bases, Saint Paisios replied: “Are you an American and do not understand? I speak Greek… The problem of Cyprus is spiritual. The spiritual law is now being applied. “When you build monasteries, parishes, orthodox families, then the bases of sin and occupation will disappear.”
With fanatical followers
In recent years, the metropolitan of Morphou utilizes the modern media and especially the website of the metropolis, in which he posts speeches which are videotaped and can be seen on YouTube. There are thousands of people in Cyprus, Greece but also in foreign countries who follow him fanatically, considering him one of the modern great figures of Orthodoxy. Many of them rushed to defend him on social media, even for his recent extreme reports, despite the fact that no one from the Church defended him.