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Author Topic: ISRAEL PRODDED TO RECOGNIZE GREEK ORTHODOX PATRIARCH  (Read 1282 times) Average Rating: 0
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Mor Ephrem
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« on: October 31, 2002, 12:13:30 AM »

ISRAEL PRODDED TO RECOGNIZE GREEK ORTHODOX PATRIARCH

JERUSALEM, Oct 29, 02 (CWNews.com) -- The Greek Orthodox Church has stepped up pressure on the government of Israel to recognize the election of a new Patriarch of Jerusalem.

In a letter to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church asked for official confirmation of Israel's decision to recognize the election of Patriarch Ireneos, who was chosen by the Church synod in August 2001.

Under a protocol governing church-state relations in the Holy Land, dating back to the Ottoman Empire, the governments of the region (including Jordan and Palestine as well as Israel) have the right to reject candidates for the Orthodox patriarchate. Israel had originally invoked that power to block the candidacy of Ireneos, but later relented under international pressure and allowed his election.

However, the Israeli government has never formally recognized Patriarch Ireneos as leader of the Greek Orthodox community in Jerusalem. As a result, Orthodox sources complain, the patriarch has been confined to his home, a "hostage" in the Holy Land.
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2002, 08:41:15 PM »

The following is from the October 2002 ù Vol. VII #10 issue of The Sentinel.

The Sentinel describes itself this way: The Sentinel is a twelve-page newsletter published monthly by The Sarov Press. Each month our editors monitor scores of websites and other media outlets to find Orthodox news--news that the Western Media, and most media, refuse to print. The Sarov Press is not affiliated with any Orthodox jurisdiction or bishop.  

Anyway here is the article:

IRENAIOS FALLS FOUL OF ARABS TOO
eKathimerini

Over 11 month after his enthronment in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem is still unrecognized by the Israeli government, which distrusts him as being pro-Palestinian.

Now, according to reports from Jerusalem, Irenaios has incurred the wrath of the Palestinian Authority, which accuses the patriarch of colluding with the Israelis to margenalize Arab members of his flock.

Marwan Tubasi, head of the Palestinian Authority's Orthodox Council, was quoted in Monday's Jerusalem Post as claiming Irenaios wants to "obliterate" the Arab element from his church through "secret, suspicious deals with the Israel authorities."

The paper credits Tubassi as saying Irenaios has struck a deal with the Israelis to accept a large number of Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union into his church.

"This is aimed at turning Arab Christians from the Greek Orthodox community into a minority," he said.

Irenaios was elected in August 2001 to replace Diodoros, and was enthroned in September 2001. But the Israeli government has refused to recognize him, despite diplomatic pressure from Athens.

An indication of the church leader's growing estrangement from the Palestinian Authority are recent rumorsùbelieved to have been circulated by officials in Ramallahùthat Irenaios is planning to sell church property in hotly contested parts of the Holy Land to the Israelis.

This follows an acrimonious dispute between the church leader and a Palestinian church official close to Yasser Arafat, which led to the Palestinian's dismissal.

The Israeli Cabinet is expected to meet next week to discuss the matter of Irenaios' recognition.
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