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Cypriot Church Leader Warns Anti-Pope Clerics


The leader of Cyprus' Orthodox Church has warned clerics critical of an upcoming visit by Pope Benedict that they must show the pontiff respect.

Archbishop Chrysostomos said Tuesday that freedom of expression is allowed in the Orthodox Church, but that clerics must not offend a guest like the Pope.

Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to visit Cyprus in early June at the invitation of Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias.

Several clerics have threatened to boycott the Pope's visit. One bishop told a Cypriot newspaper that the pope is a heretic and that it would be better if he did not visit.

Most Greek Cypriots are followers of the Greek Orthodox Church, which split with the Roman Catholic Church in the 11th century, but the island has a small Catholic community.


Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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