Chrysostomos II's Words of Welcome to Benedict XVI

«The 21st Century … Is the Century of Dialogue»

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NICOSIA, Cyprus, JUNE 5, 2010 ( Here is the text of the greeting given by Orthodox Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus, which he delivered today upon receiving Benedict XVI at the Orthodox archbishopric of Nicosia and Cathedral of St. John.

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Your Holiness, Benedict, Pope of Old Rome,

It is with feelings of great respect and love that we welcome you and your honorable entourage to our cathedra.

Our Church has a history of two millennia, beginning in 45 AD, when it was the first Church of Nations to be founded by the Apostles Barnabas and Paul.

In the two thousand years of its history our Church has experienced periods of great spiritual fruitfulness and splendor and its spiritually enlightened Bishops participated in all the Ecumenical Councils, at which they often played a leading role.

In 431 AD the Third Ecumenical Council at Ephesus honored the Church of Cyprus by declaring its Autocephaly under Canon 8.

Byzantine Emperor Zeno then granted our Church imperial privileges and status.

These rights and privileges were later ratified by the Quinisext Ecumenical Council in 691 AD.

More recently, in response to the calls of the times, the Church of Cyprus underwent restructuring and reinstituted former Metropolitans and Bishops, in order to better fulfill its historical mission.

Your Holiness,

Despite the small numbers of its flock, the Church of Cyprus holds an eminent position in Orthodoxy and enjoys fraternal relations with all the Churches.

Indeed, as we enter the 21st century, which is the century of dialogue, approach and mutual understanding, we are determined to continue this course, in the belief that this is the will of the All-Merciful Lord.

Once again we express our joy and sense of honor at having you here among us today.

We wish you a pleasant stay in Cyprus and a safe return to your cathedra.

Chrysostomos Archbishop of Cyprus
Holy Archbishopric of Cyprus
5 June 2010

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