eurel     Données sociologiques et juridiques sur la religion en Europe et au-delà


  • The Cypriot Archiepiscopal Elections 2022

On Monday 7 November 2022, Archbishop Chrysostomos II passed away at the age of 81, after a long battle with intestinal cancer. Promptly, the Synod, by decision, announced a six-day mourning period and preparations for his funeral. The late Archbishop’s funeral, which took place on Saturday 12 November 2022, triggered an immediate and tumultuous campaign lasting for 40 days.

The elections process, as stated by the new Charter of the Church of Cyprus, is conducted in two stages. In the first stage the public decides on a triarchy/triumvirate, by universal suffrage, and in the second stage the archbishop is selected by the Holy Synod.

During the first stage six bishops declared their candidacy : Bishop of Paphos George, Bishop of Limassol Athanasios, Bishop of Tamassos Isaiah, Bishop of Kerynia Chrysostomos, Bishop of Morphou Neophytos and Bishop of Constantias Vassilios.

On 18 December 2022, the Cypriot voters were called upon to decide which three bishops would constitute the triarchy. The results, unsurprisingly, designated Bishop of Limassol Athanasios (35.68%), Bishop of Paphos George (18.39%) and Bishop of Tamassos Isaiah (18.1%).

According to the procedures, a period of three-day after the elections is open for objections. The Holy Synod then has a period of five days to examine any objection and respond to them.

On 24 December, the Holy Synod convened and declared Bishop of Paphos George the new Archbishop of Cyprus with 11 votes out of 16. The new Archbishop of Cyprus George officially took up his duties on 8 January 2023.

  • Tensions

The dissent of the Synod over the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine once again surfaced during the election campaign for the new archbishop. The Synod, on November 28, decided not to allow foreigners and people who have been living in the country for less than a year to vote. This decision was met with suspicion, as over 40.000 Russians reside in the country and could have voted in the elections.

Additionally, the debate between the pro-west faction, which supported the former Archbishop Chrysostomos II and his views, and the pro-Russian faction, which considered the Ukrainian Church schismatic, was deemed an important topic in the public domain and, according to some analysts, was the decisive factor in the new Archbishop’s election.

Domestically, Archbishop George, during his ten-month tenure, openly expressed his opinion about the Cyprus Problem, educational matters (sex education in schools), and the claim of the Church of Cyprus over the use and management of Ledra Palace.

  • A new crisis

The surprise attack by Hamas against Israel on 7 October 2023, and the subsequent Israeli-Palestinian war that is still ongoing, have left the world confounded. The impact of this tragic sequence of events and the repercussions they will have on the religious world remain unknown. Cyprus is geographically near the epicentre of this conflict. The geographical proximity and the severity of the war may force neighbouring states to get more actively involved. At present, we can only address it as an imminent crisis and a potential topic of future discussion.

Further information in Greek is available at the following links :

 Philenews, 24 December 2022.
 Philenews, 24 December 2022.
 Philenews, 6 January 2023.
 Protothema, 14 November 2022.
 Philenews, 18 December 2022.

D 14 décembre 2023    AEleftherios Piperi

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