The Pastor of the Holy Monastery of Panagia Kamariani in Red Hill, Victoria, Fr Eleftherios (Papa Lefteris), has announced his resignation from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.
Papa Lefteris made the announcement in front of a large crowd after the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, October 2.
In a video on Facebook, the faithful present could be heard expressing their anger as Papa Lefteris confirmed that Sunday would be his last day as parish priest at the monastery following a recent disagreement with the archdiocese and the archbishop. Makarios.
After the Divine Liturgy, Papa Lefteris was also captured in a video saying his final goodbyes to the church he has called home for years, and wishing the new parish priest good luck.
“This is my last night here. Starting tomorrow a new priest is coming and I hope he is… able to work with the young people here, whom I love and continue to live for,” said Papa Lefteris.
The priest’s announcement was met with disappointment by some members of Melbourne’s Greek community.
“Red Hill will never be the same again. His legacy will live forever,” a devotee wrote on social media.
“An absolute legend…Words cannot describe how much this has impacted our lives,” another Facebook user wrote.
Papa Lefteris’ resignation comes after the archdiocese issued a statement last month expressing its disapproval of the priest for his “belligerent rhetoric” towards the church and Archbishop Makarios.