Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus spoke to ThemaOnline about the Holy Synod, this year’s Christmas to be celebrated in a different way and the reasons why he always wanted to take a clear position and avoided neutrality.
When he was asked whether he had any reservations about getting the vaccine, he replied that he would do it since he belonged to the vulnerable groups.
Archbishop Chrysostomos referred to his course in the Archdiocese of Cyprus, pointing out that the Church had benefited from the changes he has made. In addition, when he came to the Archdiocese he decided that reforms were necessary for the sake of the Church. He had discussed the matter with the late Archbishop of Cyprus but he did not want to make any changes.
“I believed that I would be able to help the Church, and, therefore, I made all those reforms. By the grace of God. I believe the Church has benefited from these changes I have made. Undoubtedly, one who works can make mistakes but I learned to consult a lot of people to avoid making mistakes as much as possible. And I think, if we made a mistake unintentionally, it is imperceptible. And I said yes, I made two mistakes. I managed to correct the first one, I do not know if I will manage to do correct the second one, too. Whoever works, no matter how positively he works, will do something negative. No one is perfect. Only God is perfect. Everyone else makes mistakes,” said the primate of the Church in Cyprus.
He stated that my temperament had always been impulsive and he made many of the decisions immediately without making mistakes since he had studied the various issues in advance. “Everything I did was after careful study. As impulsive as I am, I have never made any decisions carelessly.”
As to whether there are fronts in the Holy Synod, the Archbishop of Cyprus stressed that what he tried to do during these 14 years as head of the church was to send the message of synodality to all the brothers, noting: “It is a democratic right of everyone to have a personal point of view. When the discussion is conducted in the spirit of Christ, all we have to do is strike a proper balance and make a decision that will benefit the church and our people.”
He also stated that he was not afraid of conflicts because he has neither to win nor to lose from disagreements and conflicts since he was not a conflict person.
He also said that he can not accept if some people insisted on something that damaged the church and he would definitely fight to prevent it as he had nothing to fear and he did not like the neutral attitude, “Neutrality is not needed in the church. I have to take a clear position. Being neutral means not serving the church and doing nothing. And I do not like it,” noted Archbishop Chrysostomos.
As for this year’s Christmas celebration, he said that he did not know if it would be different, and he emphasized in closing: “We will try with the power of our soul to make them as positive and Christian as possible. May our people experience the coming of the Savior, who is born daily, dies daily and resists daily. This is my wish and as much as I can play this role this Christmas, I will do my best so that our people experience the birth of Christ who must be reborn in the soul and heart of every human being. The presence of Christ is the one that will bring real joy and true happiness to man. Festive meals and other things that people try to enjoy on Christmas days cannot bring them real joy and happiness. They may bring them a happy mood for a moment, but with the holidays gone, the joy and happiness go away. The permanent joy is for Christ to be reborn in us.”