Chrysostomos I of Cyprus

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His Beatitude Chrysostomos I of Cyprus was the Archbishop of New Justiniana and All Cyprus from 1977 to 2006 as the successor to Abp. Makarios III as the ruling hierarch of the Church of Cyprus. Although incapacitated by a severe head injury in April 2000 and Alzheimer's disease he remained the ruling bishop until removed from office by a special Synod of Bishops in May 2006.


Born in to a poor family on September 27, 1927 in the village of Statos in Paphos, Cyprus, Chrysostomos rose through the primary school system in the village of Statos to attend the Pancyprian Gymnasium (high school) under a scholarship from Kykkos Monastery, one of the wealthiest monasteries on Cyprus. In 1940, while attending the gymnasium he was tonsured a monk.

After completing his studies at the gymnasium he entered the University of Athens where he studied theology and literature. After his graduation from the university in 1950, he returned to Kykkos Monastery. He was ordained a deacon on February 18, 1951. In 1952, Dn. Chrysostomos returned to the University of Athens to pursue graduate studies at the faculty of theology. Upon graduating from the university in 1961, he returned again to Cyprus where he was ordained a priest on October 29, 1961.

From 1961, Fr. Chrysostomos taught theology at the Pancyprian Gymnasium until 1966. In 1966, he again returned to Greece for further graduate studies. In 1968, Fr. Chrysostomos was elected titular bishop of Constantia. On July 28, 1973, Bp. Chrysostomos was elected Metropolitan of Paphos.

Metr. Chrysostomos was a firm supporter of Abp. Makarios III during the period of the ecclesiastical and political coups against him during 1974. After the political coup d' etat of July 15,1974 that removed Abp. Makarios from the presidency of Cyprus, Metr. Chrysostomos supported his return to Cyprus. After Abp. Makarios' death on August 3, 1977, Metr. Chrysostomos was named locum tenens until his was elected on November 12, 1977 as Makarios' successor as Archbishop of New Justiniana and All Cyprus.

In April 2000, Abp. Chrysostomos suffered severe head injuries when he fell from the staircase of the Archiepiscopal Palace and never recovered from the injuries. In 2004, it became known that he suffered from Alzheimer's disease, and then the following year he fell into a coma, a coma from which he never recovered.

Although incapacitated, Abp. Chrysostomos remained head of the Church of Cyprus because the canons of the Church of Cyprus did not provide for the situation of the ruling hierarch being permanently incapacitated. In early 2006, the Holy Synod of the Cypriot church requested the Patriarch of Constantinople. Bartholomew I to convene a synod to rule on Abp. Chrysostomos' situation. In May 2006, Patr. Bartholomew convoked a synod at Chambesy, Switzerland that ruled that Abp. Chrysostomos I be removed from office due to serious health problems, while retaining his titles.

Subsequently, the Metropolitan of Paphos, Chrysostomos (Demetriou), was elected locum tenens until archiepiscopal elections could be held. On September 24, 2006, Metr. Chrysostomos of Paphos was elected the new archbishop of New Justiniana and All Cyprus as Chrysostomos (Demetriou) II.

Abp. Chrysostomos I reposed on December 22, 2007 at the age 80.

Succession box:
Chrysostomos I of Cyprus
Preceded by:
Bishop of Constantia (titular)
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Metropolitan of Paphos
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Makarios III (Mouskos)
Archbishop of New Justiniana
Succeeded by:
Chrysostomos (Demetriou) II
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