Orthodox archbishop of Cyprus calls on Turks to allow Christians to recover churches

.- The Orthodox Archbishop of Cyprus, Chrysostomos II, called on the Turkish community to allow Christians to “restore our churches on our own and bring monks back to the Monastery of St. Barnabas located in the occupied zones of the north.”

In a press release issued in Rome, Chrysostomos II said, “We want to stop the degradation, sensitize the international community, recover works of art that were taken away and bring them here to restore them and conserve them.  We want our civilization to be respected.  For our part, if the Turks thought that here (in Cyprus) there were mosques in poor condition, they would be willing to restore them, but I don’t think that is the case because all of them are very well preserved,” he said.

A recent census revealed that there are 520 Christian buildings in the northern zone of Cyprus, including churches, chapels and monasteries.  133 buildings have been profaned, 78 have been converted in mosques, 28 are being used by the military and as guest homes and 13 are military storage facilities.  Some church buildings have also been turned into discos.  Some 15,000 icons have been illegally taken and are on the international black market.  The destroyed cultural patrimony contains frescos that date to 500 A.D., mostly from the Byzantine era.

“What we hope is that the money that the European community has already dispensed, some 286 million euros, to the Turkish community in Cyprus, will be used to restore churches, at least those most in need, because there are many fallen churches and many are about to fall.”

Chrysostomos II also requested that the monks expelled during the occupation be allowed to return to the monastery of St. Barnabas.  The same request has also been sent to the UN Security Council, but there has not been a response yet.

In his recent visit to Rome, the archbishop met with Pope Benedict XVI who said he would do everything possible to help him.  Chrysostomos II demanded the European Union respect the rights of the Turks, who are seeking entry into the EU.

Last year, on the eve of the Pope’s visit to Turkey, Tassos Papadopoulos, the president of the divided island of Cyprus, which is partially occupied by the Turkish army, gave the Holy Father an impressive album with photos of 300 Orthodox churches destroyed by the Turks since the taking of the Mediterranean islands.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

Homily of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: