Archbishop Chrysostomos is facing his battle with intestinal cancer “with a lot of faith and courage,” Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela said on Tuesday after visiting the prelate.

The health of the archbishop, who has not been seen in public for weeks, remains critical, his treating physicians said earlier in the day.

Later, the health minister visited the archbishopric while Patriarch John of Antioch also flew to the island on an emergency visit after he was informed about the state of health of the prelate of the Cyprus church.

“He is facing this trial with a lot of faith and a lot of courage,” Hadjipantela said, and wished him to be strong.
The Archbishop, he added, told them that he is strong and was happy for the visit of both himself and the Patriarch of Antioch.

“He understands, he doesn’t talk much and God may help him,” the patriarch said and praised the archbishop.

“His faith is great, he has always been a strong man, loving, showing his love, helping everyone in Cyprus and outside Cyprus. Whoever had a need he had the will to help him.”

He said the purpose of his visit was to see and greet the archbishop, citing the strong relations with the Cyprus church.

“We have this love, the relations with the Church of Cyprus are historical since the early years of Christianity, that’s why I came when I heard that he is going through this difficult time in his health,” he said.

The archbishop is being treated by Iosif Kasios, Dimitris Papamichael, Petros Agathangelou and Michalis Protopapas together with 24-hour nurses at his residence in the archbishopric.