Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus declared that he was ready to “leave Earth” whenever God wanted him to do so and that he was indifferent to who would be his successor. He also reiterated that “the Russians were not right” about the Church of Ukraine issue.
The health problems the Archbishop of Cyprus has been facing, in addition to his advanced age, lead some people in certain circles to start discussing the issue of succession. The Head of the Church of Cyprus, in an interview given to the Cyprus Times, made clear that there was no question of resignation.
“I do not know how much longer God wants me to live. I am struggling. I am neither going to give up nor I am interested in appointing a successor. I have no reason to do so,” he stressed.
“God tests us as much as we can bear,” he said when he was asked about his state of health. And speaking from the bottom of his heart, he admitted that time was no longer an issue for him. “Whether I live a day, a month or a year longer, this will be God’s decision,” he pointed out.
“From now on I belong to God. I am not interested in time,” he added. Also, he admitted that he has made plans about where he would like to be buried.
“I told them that I had to prepare myself for that. I do not know when I will pass away. Whenever God wants me to leave Earth, I will be ready,” he concluded.
Church of Ukraine issue: “I explained to them; they did not want to understand. I do not care.”
When he was asked to comment on the issue that arose with the recognition of the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the Archbishop insisted on the stance he had taken: “The Russians are not right.”
Referring to the reactions of the High Priests-members of the Holy Synod, he said: “I explained to them; they did not want to understand. I do not care.”
Regarding the developments about the Cyprus issue, in view of the informal five-party meeting, the Archbishop said that regardless of the leader, Turkey’s policy would not change: “Ankara has the upper hand.”
“If Turkey does pull itself together, we should stand up and leave (the negotiating table) holing our head high,” he added.
“I am a citizen and I have the right to speak about my homeland, no one can take this right away from me,” he said when asked to comment on the reactions he had occasionally provoked with his statements.
He believed that the Covid-19 infection would “stay with us” and called on the public to be vaccinated. “We should live with the virus without any problems but not like today when our people can not stand being pent up in the house,” he said.
The Head of the Church of Cyprus was very clear regarding the Metropolitan of Morphou when he was asked to speak about his increasingly frequent comments on the pandemic. “Would I trust a clergyman instead of internationally renowned doctors about matters like this? You are not being serious,” he stressed.