Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

In divided Cyprus, Pope's theme is unity

Catholic World News - June 04, 2010

"Following in the footsteps of our common fathers in the faith, Sts. Paul and Barnabas," Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Cyprus on June 4.

The Pope-- the first Roman Pontiff ever to visit Cyprus-- was greeted by President Demetris Christofias, Orthodox Archbishop Chrysostomos, and a number of Catholic prelates. In his first remarks upon reaching the island nation, the Pope said: "Cyprus stands at the crossroads of cultures and religions, of histories both proud and ancient but which still retain a strong and visible impact upon the life of your country."

The common concerns of Catholic and Orthodox believers was the main theme of the Pope's remarks during the first day of his visit. On Sunday he will address the broader theme of the Christian presence in the Middle East, as he releases the working document for an October meeting of the Synod of Bishops, dedicated to the Middle East.

At an ecumenical service in the church of Agia Kiriaki Chrysopolitissa on Friday, the Pope stressed the ties that bind together all Christians, tracing back to the faith that Sts. Paul and Barnabas brought to Cyprus. Christians should pray for a renewal of that original unity, he said, noting that "it will strengthen the witness to the Gospel in today's world." In a nod to Archbishop Chrysostomos, who has been an enthusiastic supporter of ecumenical ventures, the Pope added: "The Church in Cyprus, which serves as a bridge between East and West, has contributed much to this process of reconciliation."

Pope Benedict steered clear of the political divisions that have troubled Cyprus since 1974, when a Turkish invasion split the island. The Pontiff will not travel to the north of the island, controlled by Turkey. He did not refer directly to the divisions in his public remarks, although he did frequently speak of the need for reconciliation and peace.

Archbishop Chrysostomos, on the other hand, spoke quite openly about the Turkish occupation in his own public talks. He charged that Turkey is carrying out a "plan of national destruction" in the north, where Turkish forces have "turned the Orthodox Christians of Cyprus out of their ancestral homes."

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our September expenses ($13,238 to go):
$35,000.00 $21,761.73
38% 62%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: New Sister - Jun. 04, 2010 3:05 PM ET USA

    Let us pray for the Holy Father on this historic visit - Benedict XVI is the POPE OF CHRISTIAN UNITY!

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

On annulments, the process is not the problem 2 hours ago
Eucharistic Adoration, a Sure Sign of Catholic Renewal 18 hours ago
The Mystery of Music, Part II 23 hours ago
Our Spiritual Destiny and the Horror of War September 19
The Islamic roots of terrorism must be addressed September 19

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Cardinals criticize Kasper proposal, escalating debate on remarriage/Communion CWN - September 18