In Turkey, the Grand Archimandrite of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Agafangelos Siskos, was arrested by the police for stealing an expensive antique watch. However, after the intervention of the police Patriarch Bartholomew he was released.
About it reported Ethnikos Kirikas, a Greek-language newspaper published in the United States, was also widely covered by Turkish TV channels.
IA “RBC”, 04/22/2023, “In Turkey, the great archimandrite was arrested for stealing antique watches”: The Turkish channel Show TV showed a video showing him stealing a watch. The clergyman took the antiques off the shelf and put them in a bag. — Inset K.ru
According to the newspaper, Siskos was arrested in Istanbul on Monday, April 17. The pocket watch he stole is very valuable; it was made of 18 carat gold for the collection in 1800 and is worth half a million lire (a little less than a million hryvnias at the current exchange rate). [2,09 млн руб. по курсу ЦБ на 24.04.2023 — прим. К.ру]
The thief was identified after checking the surveillance camera. It was a shock for the store owner to see who had stolen the goods. According to her, the archimandrite was dressed in a decent suit and told the store employees that he was Greek.
During the arrest, Siskos assured that he simply “forgot the watch in his hand and took it with him.”
The archimandrite was taken to prison, from which, however, he was released after the intervention of the police guard of Patriarch Bartholomew.
Phanar sources told the publication that the patriarch is terribly worried and saddened by this incident, because it is covered in the Turkish press and on the Internet.
“It’s a shame, because the culprit is a member of the patriarchal court and he should have thought about the institution he represents and be more careful,” the store owner told reporters.
After a resonance in the media, the Patriarchate of Constantinople issued a statement.
“Regarding the publicized case, in which the cleric of the Ecumenical Throne is allegedly involved, the press and communication service of the Ecumenical Patriarchate informs that by the decision of His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, this clergyman, from the very first moment, as it became known about the case, was sent on leave until the full clarification circumstances of the case. Until then, the Ecumenical Patriarchate will not make any other statements,” the statement said.
In an interview with journalists of the Greek National Gazette, Siskos also declined to comment, citing the fact that while the investigation is ongoing, he cannot say anything, and he also does not have permission from the director of the press service of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
“Bartholomew took this scandal very painfully. Siskos is one of the closest priests to Bartholomew, responsible for the library of the patriarchate. In fact, he is his right hand. a layman and was ordained a deacon and presbyter there,” a source close to the Patriarchate of Constantinople told Strana.
In total, there are three great archimandrites at the patriarchal court, Siskos is one of them.