Catholic Church in Cyprus
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There are around 10,000 Catholic faithful in Cyprus, corresponding to just over 1% of the total population. Most Catholic worshippers are either Maronite Cypriots, under Joseph Soueif Archeparch of the Maronite Catholic Archeparchy of Cyprus, or Latins, under the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, with a Patriarchal Vicar General. The Latin Patriarchal Vicariate for Cyprus has four parishes:
- The Holy Cross church in Nicosia, with a dependent mission at the St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus.
- The St. Mary of Graces Church in Larnaca.
- The St. Catherine Catholic Church in Limassol.
- The St. Paul Catholic Church in Paphos.
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 provides palliative care, regardless of nationality or religious persuasion.
There is also a Catholic presence through chapels and chaplains serving British military personnel, staff and dependents in the Sovereign Base Areas of the island that were established in 1960.
Sacred sites in CyprusEdit
Many of the religious sites in Cyprus can be traced to early Byzantine foundations, built before the East-West Schism between Rome and Constantinople in the 11th century. Their architecture and iconography reveal a profound influence on ecclesial building traditions still in use in the Cypriot Orthodox Church. In the Middle Ages, Cyprus was ruled by a Frankish aristocracy, the Lusignan dynasty. They favoured the Gothic style when establishing cathedrals and monasteries. The former Catholic Augustinian Cloister of Bellapais near Kyrenia was transferred to Orthodox Church authorities when the Ottomans conquered Cyprus at the end of the 16th century. Other Gothic churches were converted to mosques, for example Saint Sophia Cathedral, now Selimiye Mosque (Nicosia), and Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Famagusta, now the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque.
- "St Mary of Graces Catholic Church, Larnaca, Cyprus". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "St Catherine Catholic Church, Limassol". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "St. Paul's Catholic Parish Paphos". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "The Latin Catholic Parish of Paphos (the Church by St. Paul's Pillar)". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "Archangel Michael Hospice". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "The Latin Catholic Church of Pahpos". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "Bellapais Abbey". Retrieved 9 April 2018.