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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-11-26

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, November 26, 1998

Chrysanthos divides the Synod

THE BISHOP of Limassol Chrysanthos and the Minister of Interior Dinos Michaelides continued to be the focus of yesterday's lead stories. All papers reported that a rift had developed in the Holy Synod over the treatment of Chrysanthos.

Simerini, under the headline "Stormy meeting", said that the decision taken by the Holy Synod to remove Chrysanthos from the Bishopric without him losing his church rank, had been agreed in advance by Archbishop Chrysostomos and the Bishop.

Members of the Holy Synod disagreed with the arrangement and insisted that Chrysanthos should also be barred for two years from any church activities. Bishop of Paphos Chrysostomos said that the decision had been unanimous. But this was denied by Bishop of Kyrenia Pavlos, who publicly said that the resignation had come too late.

Machi said that the three bishops who made up the Holy Synod's investigative committee (of Kyrenia, Kition, Morphou) had opposed the resignation feeling that it let Chrysanthos off lightly.

The Kyrenia Bishop had refused to accept the letter of resignation as it content "was a mockery of the Holy Synod". He said he would have accepted the resignation only if it had been submitted five months ago.

Phileleftheros reported that a truce had been reached between Disy's warring sides on the issue of the Minister of Interior's resignation. After endless meetings, it was agreed that no public comments would be made on the matter as these caused harm to the party.

Disy deputy Christos Pourgourides, who has been the main critic of President Clerides for his refusal to accept Michaelides' resignation, also agreed to toe the party line. The paper said that Disy deputy Katie Clerides' call to Michaelides to resubmit his resignation had caused surprise.

Haravghi claimed that Clerides' bad handling of the Michaelides resignation had had a "snowball effect", as it caused divisions within Disy. Some deputies argued that the party should not be burdened with the political cost of Clerides' decision.

Initial thoughts by the Disy leadership for punitive measures against Pourgourides had evaporated after it had been established that several deputies were critical of Clerides' decision.

Alithia, in an obliquely critical front-page editorial alluding to the public reaction to Clerides' handling of the Michaelides resignation, argued that the government had a duty to take into account public sentiment.

Without support from the base, no government could survive, it said, concluding that: "The governed, irrespective of which party they belong to, are not a passive observer."

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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