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Avgoustinos of Florina

Avgoustinos of Florina (alternatively Augustinos or Augustine) was a Greek Orthodox clergyman who served as Metropolitan of the See of Florina, Prespes and Eordaia from 1967 until 2000.

Avgoustinos was born Andreas Kantiotis in Lefkes, Paros on April 20, 1907. He graduated the Theological Seminary of Athens in 1929 and was ordained a deacon, in 1935, and a priest in 1942. As a priest, he served in the role of a military chaplain and a preacher in Athens.

On June 25, 1967, Avgoustinos was ordained Metropolitan of Florina, Prespes and Eordaia. In this capacity he became well-known to most Greeks for his conservative positions on national and social matters:

He had Slavic-style Orthodox churches torn down in his See.

He supported the release of jailed members of the junta as "they fought for the integrity of the Greek homeland and against atheist Marxist regimes".

He called Nikos Kazantzakis a "filthy antichrist" on the day of the latter's funeral.

In 1988 he attacked PM Andreas Papandreou and "his home-wrecking concubine" (Dimitra Liani) while two years later he implied Constantine Karamanlis was a Mason.

In 1991, he fought against the film "The Suspended Step of the Stork" by director Theodoros Angelopoulos. He made sure it was not shown in his See and pronounced anathema against the director and everyone involved in the production of the film.

For these positions, his critics nicknamed him the "Khomeini of Macedonia", however, his supporters point to the nursing homes, orphanages and other philanthropic works that Avgoustinos was responsible for.

He stepped down from his post in 2000 citing his advanced age.

He died on August 28, 2010, at the age of 103.


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