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‘Everything in place for enthronement of new archbishop’

Αρχιεπίσκοπος Κύπρου Θεοφάνεια Πάφος

Archbishop Georgios III will be officially enthroned as head of the Cyprus Church on Sunday, as representatives from other Christian churches gathered on the island to attend the ceremony.

Speaking to CyBC, the newly-elected archbishop said that all the logistics for the ceremony were in place.

Earlier on Saturday, representatives from the Patriarchate of Constantinople and other Orthodox churches, aside from Russia, arrived in Cyprus for the ceremony.

Representatives of Pope Francis and the World Council of Churches also arrived for the ceremony, which will take place at 4pm atn the Apostle Varnavas Cathedral in Nicosia.

President Nicos Anastasiades will also attend the service.

The Holy Synod elected Georgios as the island’s 76th archbishop on Christmas Eve almost a week after the popular vote. The late archbishop Chrysostomos II died aged 81 in November after a long battle with cancer.

Georgios was born in Athienou on May 25, 1949. He graduated from the Pancyprian high school in 1967.

After receiving a scholarship from the Cyprus State Scholarship Foundation, he studied chemistry at the University of Athens between 1968 and 1972.

Following his graduation, he studied theology at the same university followed by further studies in England in both chemistry and theology.

On December 23, 1984, he was ordained as a Deacon under the Regional Bishop Salaminos Varnavas.

On March 17, 1985, he was ordained as an Elder and ordained an Archimandrite under the Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos I.

He assumed the duties of Secretary of the Holy Synod in 1994, while, at the same time, also working as a chemistry teacher in secondary schools.

A few years after that he hit the headlines after being arrested and ill treated by Turkish troops during an anti-occupation demonstration in 1989, following which he lodged a complaint against Turkey with the Human Rights Committee of the Council of Europe.

In its decision, the Council of Europe condemned Turkey for the first time for violating human rights in Cyprus and imposed a monetary fine.

He was ordained as a bishop on May 26, 1996.

On December 29, 2006, he was elected Metropolitan of Paphos, assuming his duties the day after.

He represents the Church of Cyprus in the Pan-Orthodox Conferences and in the Dialogue with the Roman Catholics.

He is also the president of the Bioethics and Education committees of the Holy Synod.

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