Pope Francis in Cyprus, meeting with the Orthodox archbishop

Pope Francis’ trip to Cyprus continues. After leaving the Apostolic Nunciature of Nicosia, the pontiff arrived at the Orthodox Archbishopric of Cyprus for a courtesy visit to His Beatitude Chrysostomos II. On his arrival he was greeted at the main entrance of the archbishop’s palace by a representative of the Holy Synod, the highest authority of the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Cyprus. After the presentation of the respective delegations and the private meeting with Chrysostomos II, and after having signed the Book of Honor, the pontiff moves to the Orthodox Cathedral to meet the Holy Synod. Afterwards, Francis will transfer, by car, to the GSP Stadium for the Holy Mass, which will be attended by the Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (Aocts).

The Holy Synod

Organized into 12 Commissions, the Holy Synod has the task of preserving the doctrine, the canonical and liturgical order of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus, of maintaining communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the other Orthodox Churches and of managing ecumenical and interreligious relations. In addition, he oversees the administration of ecclesiastical justice, the financial management and functioning of the Office of the Representation of the Church of Cyprus to the European Union and oversees religious education. It is summoned four times a year by the Archbishop-primate. The Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (Aocts) instead brings together the Ordinaries of the Latin and Eastern Rites of Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Cyprus, and the Custos of the Holy Land. According to its statutes, approved by Pope John Paul II in 1992, the president by right is the Patriarch of the Latins of Jerusalem, currently His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa.