Head of Cypriot Orthodox Church Dies

January 14, 2023

Archbishop Chrysostom II, head of the Cypriot Orthodox Church, dies

The head of the Cypriot Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostom II, died at age 81, the Cyprus Mail reported.

“Archbishop Chrysostom the Second of Cyprus passed away after a long battle with cancer,” the publication said.

Chrysostom had been seriously ill in recent years. He was treated for cancer for several months in 2018 and underwent surgery in the United States in early 2020. Chrysostom had previously been hospitalized. Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades visited the archbishop on Oct. 22 in light of reports of the seriousness of the situation. In early November, it was reported that Chrysostom was in critical condition.

In October 2020, Chrysostom decided to recognize the schismatic Orthodox Church of Ukraine arbitrarily, without the consent of the Synod. Four hierarchs of the Cypriot Orthodox Church accused the Primate of a “blatant violation” of the synodal system in connection with the reference to Epiphany as head of the autocephalous Ukrainian Church and called for the immediate cancellation of the “canonical and invalid act” and a convening of the Holy Synod. The Russian Orthodox Church then interrupted Chrysostom’s commemoration.

The newspaper “Philelefteros” earlier wrote that a “war” is already raging between the applicants for the position of the Primate of the Church of Cyprus, people close to the metropolitans are conducting a hidden election campaign. According to the charter of the church, the faithful will vote for candidates, voting in parishes throughout Cyprus must take place within 40 days after the release of the throne. The three with the most votes will go before the Holy Synod, which will elect the new Primate of the Church of Cyprus.

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