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CYPRUS

Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus is Mourned

NICOSIA – His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus, died on Monday November 7, at the age of 81 after battling cancer for the last four years.

The medical announcement said that the late Archbishop “passed peacefully after facing the trial of his ailment with courage, patience, and Christian endurance” at 6:40 AM Monday.

It also stated that “all those were close to him during the difficult hours of his ailment experienced his humility, kindness, and deep faith as well as his concern for his flock.”

FILE – Jerusalem’s Orthodox Christian Patriarch Theophilos, left, and Cyprus Orthodox Christian Archbishop Chrysostomos II, right, walk at the Archbishopric in the capital Nicosia, Cyprus, on Feb. 10, 2012. Archbishop Chrysostomos II, the outspoken leader of Cyprus’ Greek Orthodox Christian Church whose forays into the country’s complex politics and finances fired up supporters and detractors alike, died on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. He was 81. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias, File)
FILE – The leader of Cyprus’ Greek Orthodox Church Archbishop Chrysostomos speaks to the media during a press conference in his office at the Archbishopric in Nicosia, Cyprus on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. Archbishop Chrysostomos II, the outspoken leader of Cyprus’ Greek Orthodox Christian Church whose forays into the country’s complex politics and finances fired up supporters and detractors alike, died on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. He was 81. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias, File)

His Funeral Service will take place on Saturday at St. Barnabas Cathedral officiated by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, with whom Archbishop Chrysostomos maintained a close friendship for many years. He supported the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Patriarch Bartholomew wholeheartedly on major ecclesiastical issues such as the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church which was convened in Crete Greece in 2016 as well as the granting of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

Archbishop Chrysostomos will be buried in a crypt beneath the cathedral according to his wishes. He had prepared his grave while he was alive.

Meanwhile, tributes poured in for the Archbishop from religious and civil leaders around the world. The President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades hailed Chrysostomos’ “massive body of reforms for Orthodoxy and the Church as well as the well-being of our people.”

FILE – The head of Cyprus Orthodox Church Archbishop Chrysostomos II presides over a meeting of other bishops composing the Holy Synod, the Church’s highest decision-making body at the Church’s headquarters in the capital Nicosia, Cyprus on Nov. 23, 2020. Archbishop Chrysostomos II, the outspoken leader of Cyprus’ Greek Orthodox Christian Church whose forays into the country’s complex politics and finances fired up supporters and detractors alike, died on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. He was 81. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias, File)

Born on April 10, 1941, Chrysostomos’ religious calling came early when he joined Cyprus’ famous monastery of Saint Neophytos as a lay-brother right after completing primary school. He steadily rose through the church’s ranks until 1978, when he was enthroned bishop of his native prefecture of Paphos.

As archbishop Chrysostomos shored up church finances and enacted a string of reforms, including restoring the church’s decision-making independence by bolstering the Holy Synod with the ordination of new bishops and the drafting of a new constitution.

FILE – Pope Francis, left, listens to Archbishop Chrisostomos during a ceremony at the Apostolos Barnavas Orthodox Cathedral in Nicosia, Cyprus on Dec. 3, 2021. Archbishop Chrysostomos II, the outspoken leader of Cyprus’ Greek Orthodox Christian Church whose forays into the country’s complex politics and finances fired up supporters and detractors alike, died on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. He was 81. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, File)

Chrysostomos also opened a church office at the European Union’s headquarters in Brussels and was a strong supporter of closer relations between the Orthodox and Catholic churches.

FILE – Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades, left, and Orthodox Christian church Archbishop Chrysostomos II, center, review the guard of honor during a wreath-laying ceremony at a memorial during the country’s guerrilla campaign against Britain’s colonial rule between 1955-1959 in Central Prisons for fighters killed in capital Nicosia, Cyprus on April 1, 2013. Archbishop Chrysostomos II, the outspoken leader of Cyprus’ Greek Orthodox Christian Church whose forays into the country’s complex politics and finances fired up supporters and detractors alike, died on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. He was 81. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias, File)

“I want to do real work, not just for show. I came and I’ll eventually be gone, so I want to leave something behind for this country, that’s what matters,” Chrysostomos told state broadcaster CyBC in 2022.

The late Archbishop was a strong critic of the Turks who invaded and illegally occupied the country in 1974 and for a number of years was not permitted to visit the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople.

A mourner touches the coffin of the leader of Cyprus’ Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, in the St. Barnabas Cathedral for a brief service following his death on the grounds of the Church’s headquarters in the capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. Archbishop Chrysostomos II, the outspoken leader of Cyprus’ Greek Orthodox Christian Church whose forays into the country’s complex politics and finances fired up supporters and detractors alike, has died. He was 81. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Mourners pays their last respects to the leader of Cyprus’ Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, in the St. Barnabas Cathedral during a brief service following his death on the grounds of the Church’s headquarters in the capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. Archbishop Chrysostomos II, the outspoken leader of Cyprus’ Greek Orthodox Christian Church whose forays into the country’s complex politics and finances fired up supporters and detractors alike, has died. He was 81. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Mourners pays their last respects to the leader of Cyprus’ Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, in the St. Barnabas Cathedral during a brief service following his death on the grounds of the Church’s headquarters in the capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. Archbishop Chrysostomos II, the outspoken leader of Cyprus’ Greek Orthodox Christian Church whose forays into the country’s complex politics and finances fired up supporters and detractors alike, has died. He was 81. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Mourners pays their last respects to the leader of Cyprus’ Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, in the St. Barnabas Cathedral during a brief service following his death on the grounds of the Church’s headquarters in the capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. Archbishop Chrysostomos II, the outspoken leader of Cyprus’ Greek Orthodox Christian Church whose forays into the country’s complex politics and finances fired up supporters and detractors alike, has died. He was 81. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
A mourners pays her last respects to the leader of Cyprus’ Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, in the St. Barnabas Cathedral during a brief service following his death on the grounds of the Church’s headquarters in the capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. Archbishop Chrysostomos II, the outspoken leader of Cyprus’ Greek Orthodox Christian Church whose forays into the country’s complex politics and finances fired up supporters and detractors alike, has died. He was 81. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
A Christian Orthodox priest kisses a cross as Cyprus’ Speaker of the House of Representatives Annita Demetriou pays her last respects to the leader of Cyprus’ Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II in the St. Barnabas Cathedral, during a brief service following his death on the grounds of the Church’s headquarters in the capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. Archbishop Chrysostomos II, the outspoken leader of Cyprus’ Greek Orthodox Christian Church whose forays into the country’s complex politics and finances fired up supporters and detractors alike, has died. He was 81. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Cyprus’ Speaker of the House of Representatives Annita Demetriou pays her last respects to the leader of Cyprus’ Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II in the St. Barnabas Cathedral, during a brief service following his death on the grounds of the Church’s headquarters in the capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. Archbishop Chrysostomos II, the outspoken leader of Cyprus’ Greek Orthodox Christian Church whose forays into the country’s complex politics and finances fired up supporters and detractors alike, has died. He was 81. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Christian Orthodox priests and the Cypriot parliament president Annita Demetriou, background second right, stand by the coffin with body of the leader of Cyprus’ Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II in the St. Barnabas Cathedral during a brief service following his death on the grounds of the Church’s headquarters in the capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. Archbishop Chrysostomos II, the outspoken leader of Cyprus’ Greek Orthodox Christian Church whose forays into the country’s complex politics and finances fired up supporters and detractors alike, has died. He was 81. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
A Christian Orthodox priest stands in front of the coffin with body of the leader of Cyprus’ Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II in the St. Barnabas Cathedral, during a brief service following his death on the grounds of the Church’s headquarters in the capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. Archbishop Chrysostomos II, the outspoken leader of Cyprus’ Greek Orthodox Christian Church whose forays into the country’s complex politics and finances fired up supporters and detractors alike, has died. He was 81. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
A Christian Orthodox priest pays his last respects to the leader of Cyprus’ Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, in the St. Barnabas Cathedral during a brief service following his death on the grounds of the Church’s headquarters in the capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. Archbishop Chrysostomos II, the outspoken leader of Cyprus’ Greek Orthodox Christian Church whose forays into the country’s complex politics and finances fired up supporters and detractors alike, has died. He was 81. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

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