Archbishop Justin welcomes Archbishop of Cyprus to Lambeth Palace
Wednesday 14th May 2014“There is a need for peacemakers today,” Archbishop Justin told the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Cyprus, who is visiting the UK to share the needs of his church in Cyprus.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby welcomed the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Cyprus to Lambeth Palace yesterday.
His Beatitude Chrysostomos II, Archbishop of Nova Justiniana & All Cyprus, visited Archbishop Justin as part of a week-long visit to the UK to share the needs of the Church of Cyprus and to seek solidarity in prayer with Christian leaders in the UK.
After a private meeting the Archbishops prayed together in the Crypt Chapel at Lambeth Palace.
In a greeting to Archbishop Chrysostomos, Archbishop Justin said: “Between our two churches there has always been more that unites us than that which divides us and so we can pray together and welcome all sincere efforts for peace in your country, in Europe and in the world. Certainly there is need for peacemakers today, and I pray that God’s love may move us beyond what we can hope for, that our endeavours in interfaith dialogues will create greater understanding for the world as one human family.”
A transcript of Archbishop Justin's greeting follows below:
"Your Beatitude, Chrysostomos II, Archbishop of New Justiniana and All Cyprus,
"I greet you in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
"It is a joy to welcome you at Lambeth Palace along with your delegation from Cyprus and the UK. This is an opportunity for mutual sharing, and for us to understand more profoundly the past and the present life and ministry of the Church of Cyprus, one of the oldest Eastern Orthodox autocephalous churches.
"Cyprus, evangelised at the very beginning of Christianity, has had a history of struggle, but the church has never ceased to defend its Orthodox faith and identity by its witness, presence and engagement in the context of Cyprus.
"In more recent times your church has developed a wide range of activities relating to life and society in Cyprus. A new constitutional charter for your church replaces the one dating from 1914. The Church of Cyprus has furthermore built many schools, set up cultural and philanthropic church foundations, including a radio and television station and put in place a significant scholarship programme for needy students.
"On a European and global level, the Church of Cyprus has an office in Brussels for issues related to the European Union. It has furthermore been a member of the World Council of Churches since 1948, and has hosted many international Orthodox and Ecumenical meetings and initiated missionary activities in Africa.
"Your Beatitude, I am also aware of the contributions you have made to strengthen Christian witness and to the spiritual growth in Cyprus, and that you have been tirelessly working to deepen the bonds of fellowship between Churches.
"We live in a time of change and great challenges. Change is something we are constantly dealing with, and we pray that this is achieved without violence. Our world has been experiencing economic turmoil, division and conflict, and I am aware that in the context of Cyprus your Church has been experiencing difficulties related to these developments. I pray that fresh talks between communities in Cyprus will bring lasting peace and reconciliation. I look forward to hearing more from you on the current situation.
"In conclusion I affirm our common vision of peace and prosperity for our world. Between our two churches there has always been more that unites us than that which divides us and so we can pray together and welcome all sincere efforts for peace in your country, in Europe and in the world. Certainly there is need for peacemakers today, and I pray that God’s love may move us beyond what we can hope for, that our endeavours in interfaith dialogues will create greater understanding for the world as one human family. May our church to church dialogues, nurtured by the God of love, whose peace surpasses all understanding, bear fruit that the world may believe."