NEWS

Divine will invoked on Church power vacuum

By a narrow majority, Cyprus’s feuding bishops voted yesterday not to seek a replacement for the Church of Cyprus’s ailing leader, who has been unable to carry out his duties for over a year after slipping and hitting his head on the steps of the Archbishopric in Nicosia. The Greek Orthodox Church’s governing body, the Holy Synod, decided instead «to leave the matter to the will of God,» according to a statement issued after the meeting, which was carried by a 5-4 vote. Bishops pressing for Archbishop Chrysostomos’s replacement accused their opponents of conspiring in order to avert defeat in elections for a new Church leader. «Even if the archbishop were to die, some bishops would propose having him embalmed and placed on the throne to avoid elections,» charged Nikiforos of Kykkos. Chrysostomos has been out of action since the accident last April.