Archbishop Georgios officially assumed his new duties on Sunday during an enthronement ceremony and sent messages regarding the Cyprus issue, education and defence.
On education, Cyprus’ new Archbishop said: “we are not asking, nor are we attempting to blackmail the government of the country on the issues of education, nor on other issues. We do not, however, deny ourselves the right to have an opinion on the most important issues of the country and to express it freely, as such a right is enjoyed today by all citizens”.
Referring to the Cyprus issue, he said the country is in danger from “Turkish bulimia,” which has aspirations “for the conquest and Turkification of the whole of Cyprus.” The Archbishop added that the Church cannot remain a spectator on developments on the Cyprus problem.
“The government of the Republic can also count on our support in seeking to restore the rights of our people and in liberating our occupied territories,” he noted, adding that the Church would “strive to prevent solutions that would endanger our survival in our ancestral land.”
His Beatitude also said the Church will contribute, in consultation with the competent authorities of the state, to the defence of Cyprus. Furthermore, he called for the activation of the defence doctrine between Greece and Cyprus, which “will strengthen the sense of security, prevent new expansionist moves by Turkey and maintain the desire for liberation.”
The enthronement ceremony began shortly after 4 pm on Sunday, in the presence of President Anastasiades, the Speaker of the Parliament, Annita Demetriou, the Archbishop of Athens and Greece, Ieronymos, and the country’s political leadership.
Also present at the ceremony were the Minister of Education and Religious Affairs of Greece, Niki Kerameos, a representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, representatives of all the Orthodox Churches, as well as representatives of other denominations.