NEWS

Cyprus Church suspends deals

The ruling body of the Church of Cyprus has ordered a halt to church-related financial transactions amid speculation involving ailing Archbishop Chrysostomos and the sale of church land. The Holy Synod’s decision late Wednesday followed the local Politis newspaper’s claims that a top civil servant and an ex-Land Registry Department official, both said to be close friends of Chrysostomos, bought church-owned land at the resort of Aghia Napa two years ago for a fifth of its market price. Chrysostomos, 75, is currently in an Athens hospital recovering from head and spinal injuries suffered in a fall last month. «Due to the archbishop’s present inability to follow events and sign documents, anyone authorized by him to withdraw money on behalf of the Church, to sign checks or to make agreements binding the Church is suspended» from doing so, the Synod said. Following a Synod decision, Chrysostomos was moved yesterday from the state Evangelismos to the private Ygeia hospital. This irked the Cypriot government, which said it would not pay the prelate’s bill at the Ygeia. (AP, ANA)