The chief of the Cyprus Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, has died aged 81, his docs mentioned Monday, after years of battling most cancers.

An outspoken cleric who influenced each politics and spiritual life on the divided island, Chrysostomos had led the highly effective Orthodox Church since November 2006.

"The archbishop handed peacefully in his sleep after going through the problem of his sickness with braveness, persistence and Christian dedication," an announcement from his docs mentioned.

"What is going to all the time accompany and observe us is his honesty, kindness and smile," they added.

The Holy Synod, the church's governing physique, was because of meet afterward Monday to resolve on funeral preparations, to be held within the capital Nicosia.

The Synod will then lead the method to elect Chrysostomos' successor, which additionally features a standard vote by followers of the church.

Official engagements and different occasions have been cancelled following the loss of life.

"The individuals of Cyprus mourn the lack of Archbishop Chrysostomos II," President Nicos Anastasiades tweeted.

"His reforming work for Orthodox Christianity, the Church and his motion for the prosperity of our individuals is big."

Schooling Minister Prodromos Prodromou instructed state broadcaster CyBC the archbishop "was a particular determine for Cyprus, and at the moment is a day of disappointment".

Born Irodotos Dimitriou in Tala, a village close to the western metropolis of Paphos, on April 10, 1941, Chrysostomos had been handled for a colon tumor and liver metastasis since 2018.

He was a vocal opponent of the 1974 Turkish invasion, launched in response to a coup sponsored by the navy junta then ruling Greece, which has divided the island right into a Greek Cypriot-controlled south and a breakaway Turkish Cypriot north.

-- 'Nonsensical' Russian invasion -

Chrysostomos had additionally campaigned in opposition to a unification plan by former UN chief Kofi Annan, which Greek Cypriot voters rejected in a 2004 referendum.

As non secular chief, he had promoted inter-faith dialogue and labored carefully with different Christian and Muslim leaders.

The archbishop issued in 2020 a joint name with Turkish Cypriot Mufti Talip Atalay and the Armenian and Maronite non secular leaders urging concerted efforts to curb the unfold of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He had chastised clergymen who refused vaccination in opposition to the coronavirus.

In April, Chrysostomos blasted an "un-Christian" and "nonsensical" Russian invasion of Ukraine, regardless of shut ties between his church and Russia's Orthodox management that has backed it.

The Orthodox Church is estimated to personal property price billions of euros ({dollars}) throughout Cyprus.

It's thought of one of many wealthiest organizations within the nation, with pursuits and shares in banking, drinks manufacturing, motels and cement making.

The archbishop's statements on the economic system, political affairs and social points held sway in a non secular society that practices the identical Orthodox religion as Russians, a comparatively giant diaspora in Cyprus.

© 2022 AFP

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