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25 June, 2024
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First Catholic bishop to be ordained in Cyprus in 500 years

Pope Francis' decision marks a landmark event as Monsignor Bruno Varriano assumes role as Latin Catholic Bishop in Cyprus

Source: CNA

The first Catholic Bishop will be ordained on Saturday, 16 March, in Cyprus after five centuries, following the decision of Pope Francis with the appointment of Monsignor Bruno Varriano, OFM (of the Order of the Franciscan Monks), Patriarchal Vicar for Cyprus, Titular Bishop of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

The Episcopal Ordination will take place at the Filoxenia Conference Center in Nicosia, at 4.30 pm on Saturday 16 March 2024, a press release from the Latin Patriarchal Vicariate of Cyprus said.

This first Episcopal Ordination since the Ottoman Empire is a major historical event for Cyprus.  Expected to attend it together with a large number of faithful, are Patriarchs, Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops and numerous priests of various denominations from all over the world, including the Vatican, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, Poland, Ukraine, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus. In addition to the religious and faithful communities invited are government authorities, the diplomatic corps, high officials, Ministers and the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides.

Among others, expected to attend and participate in the religious ceremony are His Eminence Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa (Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem), Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer (Metropolitan Archbishop of São Paulo, Brazil), Cardinal Fortunato Frezza from the Vatican and Cardinal Américo Manuel Alves Aguiar (Bishop of Setubal, Portugal). Attending are also expected to be the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus Georgios, the Catholic Archbishop of Athens Theodoros Kontidis, the Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus Selim Sfeir, the Bishop of Neapolis Porphyrios, Archbishop Khoren of the Armenian Orthodox Church of Cyprus, the Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and the Apostolic Representative in Jerusalem and Palestine, the Custodian of the Holy Land, the Apostolic Nuncio to Cyprus and Jordan.

Since 1192 AD, Latin Catholic Bishops accompanied the presence of believers in Cyprus, until 1591 AD when this was interrupted by the Ottoman Empire. The first Latin Catholic Archbishop of Cyprus was Giovanni Colonna and the last was Filippo Mocenigo, while to date there have been a total of 28 Latin Catholic bishops on the island, four of which belonged to the Order of Franciscan Friars.

Following the Episcopal Ordination, a Pontifical Mass will take place on Sunday, March 17 at 1030am presided by the newly ordained Latin Catholic Bishop at the Latin Catholic Church of the Holy Cross, at Paphos Gate, in Nicosia.

Cyprus  |  Catholic  |  Franciscan  |  religion

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