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Church

Cyprus’ Metropolitan Vasilios Talks about Chrysostomos Succession

November 17, 2022

BOSTON – His Eminence Metropolitan Vasilios of Constantia and Ammochostos spoke to The National Herald about the late Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus. He revealed his last conversation with the latter and also spoke about the visit to Cyprus of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for Chrysostomos’ funeral service.

The interview follows:

The National Herald: Your Eminence. which was the late time you met and spoke with the late Archbishop Chrysostomos?

Metr. Vasilios: I had seen him three days prior to his departure. He had his eyes closed. I said to him “I am Metropolitan Vasilios of Constantia.” He recognized me, opened his eyes, and smiled at me. I kissed his hand but we couldn’t have a conversation. The prior time which was two weeks ago. The Archbishop was more talkative and when I told him, “I am Metropolitan Vasilios of Constantia,” he said, “I was expecting you.”

His Eminence Metropolitan Vasilios of Constantia co-celebrated the Divine Liturgy with the late Archbishop Chrysostomos. (Photo provided by the Metropolis of Constantia)

TNH: What else did he tell you?

Metr. Vasilios: You and Metropolitan Georgios of Paphos should try to get on the ‘triprosopon’ (three person ballot) so one of you will be elected Archbishop because I don’t want the nature of the Church to be changed. Earlier he used to say, “two can be my successor: Metropolitan Georgios of Paphos and Vasilios of Constantia.”

TNH: Would you want to become Archbishop of Cyprus, since that was the wish of the late Chrysostomos?

Metr. Vasilios: Of course. I have expressed my interest. I received much encouragement from clergy and laity and from many friends. They urged me to place myself at the disposal of the Church. Thus, yes, I am among those who are candidates for the Throne.

When I was Bishop of Trimithountos and Archbishop Chrysostomos I was ill I had assumed all the administrative responsibility for the Archdiocese and therefore I have some experience from that time. Also, the organization of the Metropolis of Constantia was not an easy task.

TNH: How do you see the visit of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who officiated at Archbishop Chrysostomos’ funeral service, the first time since 1635 that an Ecumenical Patriarch stepped on Cyprus’ soil?

Metr. Vasilios: The coming of His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch is a very important event. His All-Holiness had expressed many times the desire to visit Cyprus but the political circumstances didn’t allow it.

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