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26 June, 2024
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Archdiocese: The search for a new Archbishop

Before his health deteriorated, the Archbishop had a joint meeting with two Metropolitans

Apostolis Tomaras

Apostolis Tomaras

One of the issues that seemed to be of great concern to the late Archbishop was what would unfold the day after his death. Despite the fact that he had ruled out any possibility of initiating his succession, Chrysostomos II had not hidden his concerns in public. In an interview with the late church leader in "K", he stated in November 2020, "I predict that if I leave, they will kill each other." I'm not sure what they'll do."  With the election race in the Church underway, secure information from "K" reports that the Hierarch appears to have made moves to ensure that the election of his successor would move towards certain Hierarchs whom he believed would continue his work and prevent the Church of Cyprus from losing its traditional character.

The meeting

In this spirit, two sources claim that the late Archbishop attempted to bridge the gap between two Hierarchs who, according to him, would be able to succeed him. According to "K's" information, he invited the metropolitans of Paphos, Constantia, and Famagusta to the Archdiocese. He asked them to reach an agreement so that the archbishops could be united behind one candidate. The blessed Hierarch discovered at that meeting that both Metropolitans insisted on seeking election.  When confronted with the situation, Chrysostomos II said, "I want Paphos, but he is not pulling his weight, and we must go with Basil." The Metropolitan of Paphos reacted, and it appears that the late Archbishop's attempt to achieve unity among the hierarchs who supported him came to an end.

The Contenders

The two Metropolitans are expected to formally declare their intention to run for the Archdiocesan Throne on Tuesday, the deadline for submitting nominations.  Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol, who publicly accepted his support group's call to put himself to the judgment of the faithful, Metropolitan Isaias of Tamassos, who announced his candidacy last Saturday, and Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou, whose candidacy was announced by Christodoulos Protopapas, are expected to complete the ballot. Potential candidates include the Bishop of Kyrenia Chrysostomos and the Bishop of Karpasia Chrysotophoros. The two Hierarchs appear determined to formalize their interest, but there are reports that they may change their minds and decline to run.

[This article is an excerpt from Kathimerini's Sunday edition and was translated from its Greek original]


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