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Roman Catholicism in Cyprus

 

Roman Catholicism in Cyprus

Gothic-style church in Famagusta (1360)
The Holy Cross Cathedral in Nicosia (early 20th century)

The Roman Catholic Church in Cyprus is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome.

Description

There are around 10,000 Catholic faithful in Cyprus, corresponding to just over 1% of the total population. Most Catholic worshippers are either Maronites under their Archbishop, or Latins, under the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, with a Patriarchal Vicar General. The Latin Catholic Church of Cyprus has four parishes:

  • Nicosia Holy Cross Catholic Church, which maintains a mission at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Kyrenia in the Turkish-controlled territories
  • Larnaca St. Mary of Graces Catholic Church
  • Limassol St. Catherine Catholic Church
  • The Sisters of St. Bruno and Bethlehem have a small convent at Mesa Chorio served by the parish priest of Paphos. A recently constructed hospice for palliative care, regardless of nationality or religious persuasion extends the works of charity of the Catholics in Cyprus, providing a valuable witness to the Culture of Life as the European Union enters a new phase of growth and development.
  • British Sovereign Base Areas There is also a Catholic presence by chaplains serving British military personnel, staff and dependents in the sovereign base areas of the island that were excluded from the territory taken over by the Republic of Cyprus at its independence from the UK in 1960. Permanent Catholic chapels exists and public masses are celebrated in English.

Sacred sites in Cyprus

The Catholic Chrysopolitissa Church, Paphos

Many of the religious sites in Cyprus can be traced to early Byzantine foundations, built before the Christian schism between the Latins and New Rome in the 11th century. Their architecture and iconography reveal a profound influence on ecclesial building traditions still in use in modern times, further examples are listed under Cypriot Orthodox Church. In the Middle Ages, Cyprus was ruled by a Frankish aristocracy, the Lusignan dynasty. They favored the Gothic style when establishing cathedrals and monasteries. The former Roman Catholic Augustinian Cloister named Bellepais near Kyrenia was transferred to Orthodox Church authorities when the Ottomans conquered Cyprus at the close of the 16th century. Other Gothic churches were converted to mosques, for example Santa Sophia Cathedral (now Selimiye Mosque (Nicosia) and

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