Thursday, October 3, 2019

How A Famous Greek Astrologer Became an Orthodox Priest

Nikos Chortareas, the self-proclaimed "best astrologer in Greece and Cyprus," was a famous Greek astrologer known to people in Greece and Cyprus mainly through his after midnight psychic television program. Not only would he predict people's future based on their astrological sign, but he would promote other superstitious beliefs popular among the Greek general public like reading coffee cups and warding off the evil eye.

Apart from astrology and divination, another area in which Nikos Chortareas was active in was singing. In fact, he has also released his own album.

2011 must have been a low point for the well-known astrologer, as he was unable to pay for the expensive red Ferrari he had bought a year earlier, forcing the company to confiscate it. In the same year, he even stopped his television appearances and was banned from Thessaloniki. Shortly afterwards Chortareas reappeared in the cafeterias of the district and Kypseli, where, according to posters, he was telling the future to patrons without charge.

In 2014 he had fallen into the nets of the ΣΔΟΕ (Body for the Prosecution of Financial Crime) when the stars failed to remind him that he had forgotten to declare 710,000 euros to the Tax Office.

Then in 2016 Chortareas was arrested in Cyprus for a fraud and money laundering case. Chortareas reportedly was fishing for clients from television shows he made in Cyprus and at a well-known Limassol café. The first visit cost 50 euros and then he demanded large sums to allegedly reveal to women the extramarital affairs of their husbands, as well as the names of the women who allegedly besieged them.

Chortareas' actions were under the microscope of the police, until a female police officer appeared as a client. She told him that her husband had an extramarital affair, but he asked for 2,000 euros to help her prepare some herbs and "evict" the mistress (the woman was not even married). When Nikos Chortareas demanded the money, police officers entered the room and arrested him.

Amidst these scandals, in August 2019 the Greek newspaper Espresso published a picture of a priest inside a church which it claimed was Nikos Chortareas, who had been ordained a priest and now known as Father Kyprianos. In the photo he is standing in the Holy Sanctuary next to the Holy Altar, wearing clerical vestments. Before this, in early July of the same year, a photo began circulating of him as a monk, which caught the attention of the media and shocked everyone, though many were cynical due to his previous scandals.

According to the Greek newspaper Star, Chortareas was tonsured a monk in the Metropolis of Syros and took the name Kyprianos, and since August of 2019 he is a village priest in Langada of Thessaloniki. The Holy Metropolis of Langada embraced the conversion of the astrologer, who reportedly now wants to live far from the limelight.

When the Metropolis of Langada was asked about this matter, a representative said that Nikos Chortareas "has worn the monastic schema for some years now." He took the name Kyprianos in honor of Saint Cyprian of Antioch, commemorated on October 2nd by the Orthodox Church, who had been a pagan magician before converting to Christianity and becoming a bishop in the third century, and ended his life as a martyr for Christ. He is the Saint you go to if you want to be released from a magical spell.

Friends report that the 63 year old former astrologer decided to dedicate his life to God following the death of his mother two years ago. It was in the Church that he found comfort and forgiveness and unconditional love, especially in the person of Metropolitan John of Langada. According to the Metropolis of Langada, his desire is to establish an institution for the elderly in memory of his mother, especially for those who suffer from alzheimers.

Unfortunately, when news of his ordination spread to the general public through the media, Father Kyprianos had to withdraw from the public because "his mental health was shaken." However, according to the same source, he is very likely to assume his clerical duties soon.