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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-11-04

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The new head of the Church of Cyprus will be elected today by the Electroral Assembly, comprising 31 ex officio members, such as bishops, deputy bishops, abbots, monks and nuns, and 100 general representatives, representing the candidates for the post of the Primate of the Church.

    The name of the new Archbishop, to be elected among the three hopefuls Paphos bishop Chrysostomos and Limassol bishop Athanasios and Abbot of Kykko Monastery Nikiforos, is expected to be announced in the afternoon.

    The Electoral Assembly is at the Archbishopric to elect the Archbishop by secret ballot in two separate ballot boxes, one for each of the two groups that makes up the Assembly, namely ex officio and general representatives.

    The new Archbishop must secure the majority of votes in both ballot boxes. The complex voting process, provided by the Church Charter, allows for three separate voting procedures to take place before the name of the new Archbishop is announced.

    If this fails to produce a name or if the candidates secure the same number of votes, then the decision rests with the nine-member Holy Synod which will meet to elect the Archbishop in a secret ballot. If again, votes are shared equally by the candidates, due to an invalid or blank vote, the new Archbishop is elected in a draw.

    The new Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus will replace ailing Archbishop Chrysostomos, who has been incapacitated for the past four years.

    Chrysostomos succeeded the late Archbishop and first President of the Republic of Cyprus Makarios III, who died on August 3, 1977. Since Chrysostomos` illness, the Church has been run by the Acting Primate of the Church, Paphos Bishop Chrysostomos, as stipulated in the Church Charter.

    The Church of Cyprus is autocephalous and its head enjoys exceptional privileges (signs in red ink, wears special empirical tunic at important church ceremonies and holds a scepter). The Church was announced autocephalous in 478 AD when the remains of its founder, Saint Barnabas, were located on the island, in a tomb together with a copy of the gospel by Saint Mathew.

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