Tue | Oct 23, 2018

Orthodox Christian Church defrocks priest

Published:Thursday | April 19, 2018 | 12:00 AM

NICOSIA (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 yesterday 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's decision - denied wrong-doing. Orthodox priests are allowed to marry.

Bishop Nikiforos said the church will act to avoid delays in handling such issues in the future.