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Bishop of Paphos Georgios Elected New Archbishop of Cyprus

new archbishop of Cyprus , metropolitan of Paphos Georgios
Bishop of Paphos Georgios Elected New Archbishop of Cyprus. Credit: KYPE (ΚΥΠΕ)

Bishop of Paphos Georgios was elected the new Archbishop of the Autocephalous Church of Cyprus on Saturday on Christmas Eve 2022.

The voting took place at the Apostolos Varnavas Chapel next to the Archbishopric in the capital of Nicosia after Holy Mass.

Archbishop Georgios was elected by the sixteen members of the Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus by eleven votes. The bishop of Limassol Athanasios received four votes while one member of the Holy Synod chose not to vote.

Following the election process, the Holy Synod headed to the cathedral of Agios Ioannis, where documents of the election were signed and the result of the voting was read out.

In his first statement to the media after his election, Archbishop Georgios said that he will try to not fall short of his predecessors.

“Our homeland is waiting for its freedom, and the people are waiting for the priests to look into their many problems, which stem from the Turkish invasion and occupation,” he said, as reported by Cyprus’s public broadcaster.

In earlier statements in December, Georgios had pledged support for student accommodation as well as support for families with the aim to encourage more births in the country.

Two-phase election process for Archbishop of Cyprus

Archbishop Georgios succeeds Archbishop Chrysostomos II, who died in early November at the age of eighty-one after a long battle with liver cancer. Archbishop Chrysostomos II was renowned for his outspoken opinions on a variety of topics, including the Cyprus crisis and how the Church was managed.

Earlier in December, Bishop Athanasios of Limassol had won the popular vote in the first phase of the election for the new Archbishop. He received 35.68 percent of votes while Bishop of Paphos Georgios came second with 18.39 percent of votes followed closely by the Bishop of Tamasos Isaias with 18.10 percent.

It was among these three top contenders of the people’s vote that the Holy Synod had to elect the next leader of the Church of Cyprus on Christmas Eve.

However, only 30.2 percent of all Orthodox Greek Cypriots on the electoral roll had cast their vote, as stated by Archbishopric elections commissioner Ioannis Charilaou at the time.

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