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SA church sacks Bishop "with immediate effect"

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The Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia has sacked its Bishop, Chrysostomos Chatzigeorgiou, following an independent investigation.

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The SA-based breakaway church, which is not affiliated with Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, has confirmed its Bishop’s dismissal.

Chrysostomos did not comment today, hanging up when InDaily contacted him.

GOCSA president Bill Gonis told InDaily: “On the 21st of November the employment of Bishop Chrysostomos Chatzigeorgiou was terminated with immediate effect.”

“No further comment will be made in respect of this matter,” he said.

It follows a report from InDaily last week, in which Gonis confirmed the church had launched an investigation into a “staff member” after an email was circulated purporting to depict inappropriate images of Bishop Chrysostomos.

InDaily is not aware of any allegation of illegal activity.

InDaily has seen images contained in the email, which appears to depict activity posted on an adult dating app and is believed to have been sent to several members of the Community.

Gonis said last week that “on the 13th of November, staff and members of the Community received an email from an unknown source [which] contained attachments in the form of images and communications”.

“The images depicted highly inappropriate content and communications, and as such raised matters for the Community that are taken very seriously,” he said at the time.

Gonis had said the Community “commenced our own investigation… immediately after receiving the email”.

“We’ve retained external legal and forensic experts to assist in the investigation,” he said.

Gonis said last week that “the staff member has stood down until the investigation is complete” but declined to comment further when asked whether Bishop Chrysostomos, who presides over the Church of St Nicholas at Thebarton, was the staff member referred to.

The Community has not announced the outcome of their investigation or advised whether the Bishop’s termination is connected to the email and images which were circulated.

The former Bishop’s private Facebook page, under the name Chrysostomos Chatzigeorgiou, has been taken down since last week’s story was published.

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