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WCC mourns loss of Archbishop Chrysostomos II, head of the Church of Cyprus

Archbishop Chrysostomos II, head of the Church of Cyprus died on 7 November at age 81 after a long battle with cancer.

A public announcement said he passed away peacefully.

“What those of us who were close to him experienced during the difficult hours of his illness, was his humility, the kindness of his soul and his profound faith as well as his concern for his flock,” reads the statement. “What we will remember will always be with us, that is his honesty, kindness and smile.”

“The people of Cyprus mourn the loss of Archbishop Chrysostomos II,” president Nicos Anastasiades said in a tweet.

The archbishop’s body has been transferred to the Apostle Varnavas cathedral within the grounds of the Archdiocese.  Chrysostomos II was enthroned as archbishop in November 2006.

WCC acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca expressed deep sadness at the loss of Chrysostomos II.

“We give thanks to God for the life and witness of Archbishop Chrysostomos,” said Sauca. “All along his life and ministry he encouraged and strengthened inter-Orthodox relations; he was supportive of inter-Christian relations and ecumenical organisations such as the World Council of Churches, the Conference of European Churches, the Middle East Council of Churches; he offered an unconditional support to neighbouring churches in the Middle East whenever they were facing difficulties.”

WCC moderator Bishop Dr Heinrich Bedford-Strohm gave thanks for Chrysostomos II’s dedication to his people, still suffering the division of their beloved country.

“He made tireless efforts for a peaceful solution but, unfortunately, he did not see his country united,” he said. “May God, the God of resurrection and life, give rest to Archbishop Chrysostomos and may his memory be eternal.”

WCC letter of condolences to the Church of Cyprus

Your Eminence Metropolitan George of Paphos,
It is with deep sadness that we have learned the passing of Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus. We convey to You, to the Church and people of Cyprus, to the many spiritual daughters and sons of the late Archbishop our most sincere condolences.

We give thanks to God for the life and witness of Archbishop Chrysostomos. All along his life and ministry he has encouraged and strengthened inter-Orthodox relations; he was supportive of inter-Christian relations and ecumenical organisations such as the World Council of Churches, the Conference of European Churches, the Middle East Council of Churches; he offered an unconditional support to neighbouring churches in the Middle East whenever they were facing difficulties.

We also give thanks for his dedication to his people, still suffering the division of their beloved country. He made tireless efforts for a peaceful solution but, unfortunately, he did not see his country united.

Those of us who had the privilege of meeting the late Archbishop Chrysostomos will remember with gratitude and affection his wisdom; his warm welcome and gracious hospitality; his open invitation to host ecumenical encounters in Cyprus; the way he received all participants in meetings organized in Cyprus by the World Council of Churches; the way he encouraged all efforts aiming at Christian unity; the way he encouraged younger people to engage in the long and difficult journey of justice, peace and reconciliation.

The leadership and members of the Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches, meeting these days at the Ecumenical Institute Bossey, also convey their condolences for the loss of the Head of a founding member Church of our Council.

Many members of the committee had the privilege of knowing Archbishop Chrysostomos and expressed their personal sorrow. We have remembered Archbishop Chrysostomos in our prayers, expressing our gratitude to God for his life and miniostry.

May God, the God of resurrection and life, give rest to Archbishop Chrysostomos and may his
memory be eternal.

Respectfully Yours in our Lord,
Rev. Prof. Ioan Sauca
Acting General Secretary, World Council of Churches

Source: orthodoxtimes.com