Archbishop Chrysostomos, who has been battling intestinal cancer, is in stable but critical condition at the archbishopric, a statement by his treating physicians said on Friday.

The prelate of the Cyprus church is following the appropriate medication and an update on his health will be issued depending on the progress of his condition, the statement added.

His attending doctors are Joseph Kashios, Demetris Papamichael, Petros Agathangelou and Michalis Protopapas who, together with 24-hour nurses, treat the archbishop at his residence in the archbishopric

Earlier this week, Kashios has said that despite the archbishop’s health was stable, deterioration is a ‘natural progression of things. However, he added the 81-year-old prelate has requested to not be moved form the archbishopric.

In previous days, the archbishop’s health has been reported to be getting worse, prompting the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theofilos III to visit him on Wednesday.

Archbishop Chrysostomos suffers from cancer, which is said to have metastasised to various organs.

He last travelled to Israel for treatment in July and has said in a recent interview that only God decides when a person’s time is up.

Asked whom he’d like as his successor, Chrysostomos said he’d want the priests to “sit down and work it out together.”

But he added that he would like the next archbishop to “have an opinion on the national issue [i.e., the Cyprus problem], because otherwise I fear we will lose Cyprus.”

In the event of death, or irrevocable incapacitation, or if an archbishop is found to be of unsound mind, the throne is declared vacant, and a caretaker appointed. In Cyprus, the caretaker is always the Bishop of Paphos – no matter how many years he has served.

Forty days after the throne is declared vacant, elections are held for a new archbishop, the process overseen by the caretaker.