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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-12-21

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The enthronement of the new Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus, Joseph Soueif, took place Sunday in the Maronite Church in Nicosia.

    The ceremony was attended among others by President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias, Archbishop of the Church of Cyprus Chrysostomos II, Bishops of the Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus, Maronite Archbishops and Bishops, members of the Cypriot Council of Ministers, leaders and representatives of the political parties of Cyprus, members of the Cypriot Parliament and Cypriot Members of the European Parliament, heads of diplomatic missions, representatives of the Maronite community in Cyprus, mayors and others.

    In his address, the new Maronite Archbishop thanked especially the Cypriot President and the Archbishop of the Church of Cyprus for attending the ceremony, saying I interpret your presence at this ceremony as an honor to the Maronite community in Cyprus and to my self and I express to you all my deep appreciation.

    My special gratitude to you Mr President for your presence among us today. This is a proof of love and concern for our community. Archbishop Chrysostomos II, I am deeply touched by your presence here and the brotherly initiative that you took in sending me a special greeting on the very day of the declaration of my election, he continued.

    The new Maronite Archbishop expressed the wish and prayed that the Cyprus problem is soon solved and the Maronite refugees return to their villages and properties, which are under Turkish military occupation since 1974.

    We wish and pray that the Cyprus problem will soon be resolved and our people will go back to our homes, to our churches in Kormakitis, in Asomatos, in Ayia Marina and in Karpasia, which are traditionally Maronite villages now under Turkish occupation.

    He also referred to the Maronite enclaved persons who still live in their villages in the occupied areas of Cyprus, saying I admire the faith and the courage of people who are still living there. I bestow upon them the blessings of the Lord and the protection of the Virgin Mary assuring them that I will be by their side regularly visiting them.

    Cyprus, he continued, has a very rich inheritance of apostolic tradition. Cyprus is an island rich in spiritual history. This allows it to play a special role in the European Community.

    I look forward to our sincere and closed cooperation for the good of my community and the whole of this great island, the new Maronite Archbishop concluded.

    In his address, President of Cyprus congratulated the new Maronite Archbishop for his enthronement and wished him every success, reassuring him that their cooperation will be close and daily.

    Todays message is a message of unity, a message on behalf of the Maronite community, the Maronite Church, a message on behalf of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus as well as a message of unity on behalf of the Armenian and Latin communities of Cyprus, he said, adding it is also a message of love, brotherhood and unity with the Turkish Cypriot community of the Republic of Cyprus.

    He expressed the wish that soon the blessed day will come, when the refugees will return to their homes and properties and villages.

    Dear new Archbishop of the Maronites in Cyprus, I would like to reassure you of my friendship and support, the Cypriot President said, adding we have a common struggle, a struggle for the salvation of our country and I am sure that the day will come when this will become reality.

    Archbishop of the Church of Cyprus has congratulated the Maronite Archbishop for his enthronement and reassured of his cooperation with him.

    I would like to reassure you that the Church of Cyprus will welcome you with pleasure and we will be at your disposal. Our cooperation is given and we will be glad to welcome you in the Archbishopric and other Churches. Your presence will be a great joy for us, he said.

    Archbishop Chrysostomos II wished the new Maronite Archbishop strength and prosperity.

    In his address, Antonis Hadjiroussos, Representative of the Maronite Religious Group at the Cypriot House of Representatives, welcomed the new Archbishop, describing the day as historic for the Maronite community in Cyprus.

    The presence of the President of Cyprus is highly appreciated by all, he said.

    Hadjiroussos referred to the ongoing process which began in September with an aim to reunify Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974, saying that You should know Mr President that we support your efforts for the reunification of Cyprus.

    He referred to the problems faced by the Maronite community in Cyprus after the Turkish invasion of 1974, saying that Maronite refugees would like to return to their villages and properties.

    Welcoming the new Archbishop, he said welcome and congratulations for your enthronement, you have our unreserved support.

    The new Archbishop was born in Chekka, Lebanon, in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1987.

    The Maronite Church is one of the largest Eastern-rite communities of the Roman Catholic Church and is especially prominent in modern Lebanon.

    The Maronite community in Cyprus has a Maronite Archbishop who is elected by the Holy Synod of the Maronite Church in Lebanon and confirmed by His Holiness the Pope.

    At present the Cyprus Maronite community is a very small community forming an integral part of the people of Cyprus but, at the same time, continuing to exist as a separate community. The Maronites who now live in Cyprus consider themselves of Lebanese origin and they are Christian Catholics.

    The Maronite community of Cyprus today numbers around 6.000 scattered all over the island.

    After the Turkish invasion of 1974, the Maronites had to abandon their villages which are now under Turkish occupation.

    The number of Maronites living in the Turkish occupied areas has steadily decreased from 2.000 in December 1974 to 150 persons today, who are of an average age of 70 and over.


    President of the Republic of Cyprus, Demetris Christofias, has said that the Greek Cypriot side is not fully satisfied with the progress achieved so far at the direct negotiations, which began in September between himself and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, with the aim to reunify Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974.

    Addressing the extraordinary pancyprian conference of the left wing ruling AKEL party, President Christofias and General Secretary of AKEL, noted that he had agreed with the Turkish Cypriot leader during the meetings they held last summer, that the basis of the direct talks between them would be the UN resolutions and the High Level Agreements of 1977 and 1979.

    The aim of the talks is to reach a solution of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, with political equality, as defined by the UN resolutions, he said and added: The solution will provide for one state in Cyprus, with a one and single sovereignty, one citizenship and one international personality. As a result of the agreement between the two communities, the unified state will become a federal state with a central body that will ensure the unity of the state, the people and the institutions.

    Although we are at the initial stage of the process, and it would be premature to reach any secure conclusions, we can not state that we are satisfied with the course of the negotiations, at the extent we would have liked to be, he noted.

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