On November 22, six bishops of the Cypriot Orthodox Church officially registered as candidates for the office of Primate. This was announced by the head of the election committee, Ioannis Harilau.
The candidates for the post of Archbishop of New Justiniana and All Cyprus are: Metropolitan George (Papachrisostomou) of Paphos, Metropolitan Athanasios (Nicolaou) of Limassol, Metropolitan Basil (Karayannis) of Constantia-Famagusta, Metropolitan Chrysostom of Kerini (Papafomas), Metropolitan Isaiah (Kykkotis) of Tamasos and Orinia and Metropolitan Neophytos (Masouras) of Morphou.
Recall that a popular vote for one of these candidates will be held on December 18. The results will determine the top three, one of whom will be chosen as archbishop in a vote of the Holy Synod on December 21. Metropolitan George, deputy to the episcopal throne, said: “The Holy Synod will take into consideration as an important factor the results of the people’s will. He also did not rule out the possibility that the list of candidates may be reduced before the day of the popular vote, if someone wishes to withdraw his name.
Metropolitan Isaiah’s candidacy was publicly supported by Metropolitan Nikiphore, abbot of the Kykkos monastery. He stated that Isaiah “has a broad outlook and open mind and is engaged in multifaceted religious, social, cultural and charitable activities.
Meanwhile, a group of politicians, lawyers, teachers and public figures – a total of 231 people – supported the candidacy of Metropolitan Athanasius of Limassol. “Metropolitan Athanasius’ performance in the second largest church division in Cyprus proves: his candidacy will be the right choice. He will stand at the helm of the Cypriot Orthodox Church as a good shepherd,” the appeal says. The authors recall Metropolitan Athanasius’ active work for the benefit of young people and social work in the Archdiocese of Limassol.
Metropolitan George of Paphos said: if elected, he will continue and expand what the late Archbishop Chrysostom II did in social work and charity.
The Cabinet had previously decided that several dozen civil servants, who would be paid by the Church for their working hours, would assist in the elections.