The Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus convened in its third regular session of the year, presided over by Archbishop George, Archbishop of Cyprus. Among the issues discussed, the Holy Synod emphasized the importance of responsible school guidance on sexual education, stating that children should be informed to protect themselves.
The Holy Synod recognized the challenges children face in the digital age, where they are exposed to a multitude of information, including misinformation, from the internet at a very young age. In response to this, the Synod stressed the need for responsible school guidance on the subject of sexual education. They emphasized that the educational material provided should be age-appropriate.
The Holy Synod acknowledged that some parents and social groups have expressed concerns regarding sexual education. However, they attributed these concerns to exaggerated rumors that do not align with reality. To address these concerns, the Synod called for specially trained teachers to deliver the sexual education curriculum. They also urged against inviting groups to schools that might impose a particular ideology rather than contributing to the curriculum's objectives.
It also declared its commitment to vigilantly oversee the content and delivery of sexual education at all educational levels. They noted with satisfaction the promise made by the Minister of Education to consider the consent of parents, cultural customs, and societal sensitivities when making changes to curricula. The Holy Synod announced its intention to invite the Minister of Education to a future meeting to further discuss these matters.
The Synod also addressed a proposal to exchange a holiday for teaching time. They deemed this proposal a mockery that would defeat the purpose of abolishing a religious holiday to gain more teaching time. The Synod called on all parties involved to prioritize providing quality education to students over satisfying trade union demands.
Moreover, a two-year priest training program developed by the Faculty of Theology was approved, which will feature courses taught by university professors from Cyprus and abroad.
Members of the Six-Member Synodal Tribunal for the new year were appointed by lot during the session. This tribunal includes bishops and alternates from various regions.
Finally, members expressed their concern for the recent natural disaster that affected many regions of Greece and decided to hold a fundraiser in all Cyprus churches on Sunday, September 24, 2023, to aid the victims. They appealed to everyone to contribute generously to alleviate the challenges faced by their compatriots in Greece.