Northern Cyprus’ ‘foreign ministry’ on Monday lambasted Archbishop Chrysostomos for his ‘racist’ remarks when he admonished Greek Cypriots for crossing to the north to shop and to fly using Ercan (Tymbou) airport.
In his Easter message, which might have been expected to be one of unity and concord coming from a church figure, Chrysostomos instead censured those Greek Cypriots who go to the north “not to visit churches and the graves of their ancestors, but to transact with the occupation, for fun, and to use the illegal airport.”
The archbishop stopped short of calling these Greek Cypriots traitors.
Reacting via a statement, the north’s ‘foreign ministry’ said such commentary smacks of “a mediaeval approach and mentality.”
It urged the Greek Cypriot ‘administration’ to condemn remarks that tend to increase mistrust.
The statement went on to express grief that the archbishop’s references “indicate clearly that there has not been the slightest improvement in the racist and primitive stance of the church.”
In reality, the statement added, traffic and trade between the two communities are precisely what will serve to boost relations and cooperation, as well as economic interdependence, which is what Cyprus needs.
Other than his commentary on politics, Chrysostomos also railed against what he sees as degenerate mores. He cited the introduction of legislation on abortions, gender choice and the cohabitation of same sex-persons.
“It is obvious that these laws aim at destroying not only the religious but also the national component of our people,” the prelate said.
On social media, Chrysostomos took flak for his views, as well as for the fact he omitted to make any mention of the number one issue on people’s minds these days – the Mitsero mine murders.