The primate of the Cypriot Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos II of New Justiniana and All Cyprus, underwent colon surgery on Monday, OrthoChristian.com reports.
The archbishop, born Herodotos Dimitriou in 1941, is 77 years old.
Archbishop Chrysostomos has spent his entire life serving in the Church. After losing his father at age 10, he entered the Monastery of Ayios Neophytos in Paphos at age 12. He was ordained as a deacon in 1963 at the age of 22. In 1968, he enrolled in the Theological School of the University of Athens, and graduated in 1972.
In October of 1972, he was elected as the abbot of Agyios Neophytos Monastery, and in November he was ordained as a priest and elevated to the rank of igumen. He was elected as the Metropolitan of Paphos and consecrated as a bishop in February 1978. Archbishop Chrysostomos later began the primate of the Cypriot Orthodox Church in October 2006.
His Beatitude has come under fire in recent years for his conservative remarks on topics such as immigration and homosexuality. In 2016, the archbishop revealed that the Church was contemplating creating its own school system, with nurseries, elementary, middle and high schools being created over the next several years, aimed at instilling children with traditional, Orthodox morality.
The primate identified homosexuality as “an aberrance and a sin,” saying “It is not something normal. It is unnatural.” In this light he noted that the proposed schools will aim to form upright, moral citizens, “direct[ing] children away from homosexuality.”
In response, Cypriot LGBT “rights group” ACCEPT announced it would report the “incident” to the Attorney General as hatred due to sexual orientation or gender identity, although the case seems to have gone nowhere.