Archbishop Chrysostomos II, the head of the Autocephalous Church of Cyprus, died on Monday after a long battle with liver cancer. He was eighty-one.
He was renowned for his outspoken opinions on a variety of topics, including the Cyprus crisis and how the Church was managed.
Chrysostomos seldom refrained from speaking his mind on issues ranging from politics to the country’s finances, rallying supporters but causing consternation among some politicians and other critics who scolded him for not sticking to his religious duties.
He was known for his social conservatism. He publicly expressed his opinions on topics such as abortion, gay adoption, and homosexuality, frequently sparking heated debates.
In 2014, he called for politicians to condemn homosexuality and claimed governments demonstrated “weakening moral integrity” by introducing civil partnerships and same-sex marriage.
Chrysostomos became the new Archbishop of Cyprus in 2006
Chrysostomos always referred to himself as a realist and didn’t feel the need to increase his popularity.
Born Irodotos Dimitriou in the village of Tala near Paphos, Cyprus, he joined the monastery of Ayios Neophytos in Paphos at the age of twelve, two years after losing his father.
He gradually rose in the Cypriot Church in hierarchy and was elected Metropolitan (Bishop) of Paphos on February 25, 1978.
When Archbishop Chrysostomos I was removed from office due to illness, Metropolitan Chrysostomos was elected as locum tenens, and archiepiscopal elections were scheduled for September 24, 2006.
In October 2006, Metropolitan Chrysostomos became Chrysostomos II and the new Archbishop of Cyprus.
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