In his eulogy, church overseer Paphos Bishop Georgios praised Chrysostomos as the “greatest reformer" and an untiring defender of his people's rights and aspirations.
“He left behind a body of work before which time itself will bow and he has taught us that humans justify their fleeting passing through this world struggling for the common good," Georgios said.
The late church leader was often criticized for speaking his mind about everything from the ethnically divided country’s complex politics to the state’s finances. But Chrysostomos earned the respect of all for his unassuming work to help those most in need.
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades hailed Chrysostomos as an “indefatigable leader" whose service elevated him as “an acclaimed spiritual personality internationally."
“I had the honor of knowing a hierarch who did not hesitate to directly express his opinion, regardless of whether this would displease his interlocutor or even a section of society," Anastasiades said.
Among those attending the funeral was Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and the Archbishop of Athens Ieronymos II. In a message read by a Vatican emissary, Pope Francis who travelled to Cyprus a year ago underscored Chrysostomos' efforts to close the chasm between the Catholic and Orthodox churches.
Earlier this week. U.S. President Joe Biden called Chrysostomos “a dedicated leader who never shied away from speaking up for the most vulnerable communities in Cyprus” and who was committed to a peaceful resolution to the island’s ethnic divide.
Chrysostomos' successor will be selected in an election process that begins when the church's highest decision making body, the Holy Synod, convenes next week. Church leaders in Cyprus are elected by lay voters in combination with a college of clerics, a tradition that goes back centuries.