BBC---Jerusalem clergy dump patriarch


#1

Another interesting news item from BBC online :slight_smile:

—Greek Orthodox Church leaders in Jerusalem have broken off contact with their local leader, Patriarch Irineos, and say they regard him as dismissed. Jerusalem clergy dump patriarch


#2

[quote=WhiteDove]Another interesting news item from BBC online :slight_smile:

Jerusalem clergy dump patriarch —Greek Orthodox Church leaders in Jerusalem have broken off contact with their local leader, Patriarch Irineos, and say they regard him as dismissed.
[/quote]

This would seem to be an illustration of the beneficial aspects of the collegial system of church governance which the Orthodox have. If a rotten egg somehow gets into a position of authority, the Synod of his brother bishops has authority to depose him and rectify the situation.


#3

[quote=Fr Ambrose]This would seem to be an illustration of the beneficial aspects of the collegial system of church governance which the Orthodox have. If a rotten egg somehow gets into a position of authority, the Synod of his brother bishops has authority to depose him and rectify the situation.
[/quote]

This is interesting. I had just been reading an old *Our Sunday Visitor *article that discussed some of the inflammatory things that Patriarch Irineos had been accused of doing last year. I was planning on looking around the web to see if the same thing had happened this year. Thanks for the info.


#4

Hi, Father Ambrose!

Do the Orthodox Churches have anything similar
to RC canon law?

In other words, is there an ecclesial mechanism
by which the Patriarch could be reconciled with
the community?

Hope you’ve been well. It’s perfectly beautiful
here in the Northeastern United States at this
time of year, making winter seem almost
worthwhile, having brought such beauty in it’s wake.

Maureen


#5

[quote=reen12]In other words, is there an ecclesial mechanism
by which the Patriarch could be reconciled with
the community?
[/quote]

Part of the problem is the Greek-Arab division in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. While all of the accusations could be true, it is also possible that this is a scheme to oust the Patriarch because he is Greek and they want to install an Arab Patriarch… if this is what is happening then we are watching history in the making and probably nothing can prevent it and effect any reconciliation.

On a side note, there was within living memory a naughty bishop in Greece who fell into sin with a lady. He publically acknowledged his fault and resigned from the episcopate. But in all other ways, aside from this fall from grace, he was a good bishop. His people loved him. They begged him to come back. Finally he agreed. He would come back and, like the penitents of old, he would stand in the church porch, except that he insisted that he was going to lie down and all the faithful had to stomp on him as they walked out of church. You could say it was a bit extravagant but then he wasn’t a cold-blooded Anglo-Saxon. Apart from some nasty bruising, he resumed his work and was a model bishop :slight_smile:


#6

Christos Anesti! Christ is Risen!

Actually, nothing has been done yet. This is simply a letter from a number of clergy. There has been no formal synod held dismissing Patriarch Irineos.

John.


#7

Hi, Fr. Ambrose,

“On a side note, there was within living memory a naughty bishop in Greece who fell into sin with a lady. He publically acknowledged his fault and resigned from the episcopate. But in all other ways, aside from this fall from grace, he was a good bishop. His people loved him. They begged him to come back. Finally he agreed. He would come back and, like the penitents of old, he would stand in the church porch, except that he insisted that he was going to lie down and all the faithful had to stomp on him as they walked out of church. You could say it was a bit extravagant but then he wasn’t a cold-blooded Anglo-Saxon. Apart from some nasty bruising, he resumed his work and was a model bishop :)” quote, Fr.Ambrose

Now that seems to me to be a perfect solution.
God accepts this public penance; the people are
moved by this display of humility and sorrow;
the offender’s soul is harrowed and peace is restored.

I hope there was an orthopedic and renal specialist
among the stompers. {Celtic observation!:slight_smile: }
Maureen


#8

[quote=Fr Ambrose]Part of the problem is the Greek-Arab division in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. While all of the accusations could be true, it is also possible that this is a scheme to oust the Patriarch because he is Greek and they want to install an Arab Patriarch… if this is what is happening then we are watching history in the making and probably nothing can prevent it and effect any reconciliation.
[/quote]

It doesn’t seem to be the case. The synod allegedly met today and voted to dismiss the Patriarch, who then left in a huff for his residence, apparently contesting the validity of the proceedings. I suspect this is the end of the road for him, however. I’m not sure there is a qualified Arab to serve as Patriarch at this point (though there might be for all I know) as almost all the episcopate is currently Greek.

Even though the Patriarch really took the crown as the most violently anti-Catholic senior prelate in Orthodoxy, there is really no joy or schadenfreude amongst Catholics at this situation. This scandal reflects badly on all the episcopal Churches. Given the Patriarch’s close association with the currently embattled (and only slightly less anti-Catholic) Archbishop of Athens, I suspect the repercussions will extend well beyond the Holy Land.:frowning:

Irenicist


#9

I am not surprised. When I was in Jerusalem in January the Arabs were absolutely enraged at the Patriarch. Even the Greeks didn’t seem pleased. It would be best if they found a new one who even if Greek would be willing to learn Arabic.


#10

[quote=Irenicist]It doesn’t seem to be the case. The synod allegedly met today and voted to dismiss the Patriarch, who then left in a huff for his residence, apparently contesting the validity of the proceedings. I suspect this is the end of the road for him, however. I’m not sure there is a qualified Arab to serve as Patriarch at this point (though there might be for all I know) as almost all the episcopate is currently Greek.
[/quote]

There may not be a possibility to elect an Arab Patriarch for Jerusalem from the actual bishops of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem , and indeed it may not be a wise move vis-a-vis the Israelis who may refuse to recognise his election and thus prevent his installation. But at least they can ensure that he is someone with a pastoral heart for all the membership of his diverse flock - Arabs, Greeks, Jews, Russians.

Although unlikely the bishops can look outside their own Patriarchate for a candidate. They could, for example, offer the Patriarchal cathedra to a bishop of the Antiochian Church who are all Arabic. The last time such an event happened was back in the 1920s when the Church of Antioch asked Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky of Kiev (a Russian!!!) to be their Patriarch. He declined and he ended his life as the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, shepherding the great numbers of Russian emigres in the West.


#11

Good evening!

It appears that the Holy Synod of the Jerusalem Greek Orthodox Patriarchate has met and decided to give Patriarch Irineos his walking papers:

uk.news.yahoo.com/050506/325/fia3i.html

Is the failure (or refusal) of the Greek hierarchy to elevate a Palestinian/Arab to the episcopacy not a form of racism in the patriarchate?


#12

[quote=Amadeus]Is the failure (or refusal) of the Greek hierarchy to elevate a Palestinian/Arab to the episcopacy not a form of racism in the patriarchate?
[/quote]

No, not really. Jerusalem is an unusual Church.

All the clergy of the Holy Sepulchre are monks and of Greek extraction. All the parish clergy out in the towns and villages are Arabs and minister to their flocks who are also Arabic, and of course they are married clergy.

(There are now a large number of Russian Orthodox in the Patriarchate, so many that the Patriarchate has formed a special section to attend to their pastoral needs - but they do not play a role in this - although they may in the future.)

Now, bishops are celibate and so they are chosen from the monks. And in this case the monks are nearly all Greek. To achieve an Arab Patriarch the Arabs have to be able to offer monastic candidates and as of now they cannot do that. All their boys prefer to be married parish priests rather than monks.

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.

Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord. ~Psalm 122


#13

[quote=Fr Ambrose]There may not be a possibility to elect an Arab Patriarch for Jerusalem from the actual bishops of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem , and indeed it may not be a wise move vis-a-vis the Israelis who may refuse to recognise his election and thus prevent his installation. But at least they can ensure that he is someone with a pastoral heart for all the membership of his diverse flock - Arabs, Greeks, Jews, Russians.

Although unlikely the bishops can look outside their own Patriarchate for a candidate. They could, for example, offer the Patriarchal cathedra to a bishop of the Antiochian Church who are all Arabic. The last time such an event happened was back in the 1920s when the Church of Antioch asked Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky of Kiev (a Russian!!!) to be their Patriarch. He declined and he ended his life as the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, shepherding the great numbers of Russian emigres in the West.
[/quote]

Since the Antiochan Patriarchate is far more ecumenically minded than Irenios and his supporters (who at last reading were threatening to hold a schismatic counter synod in Jerusalem to contest his deposition) the appointment of a Syrian or Lebanese Patriarch could only improve relations between the Churches, and might help cut down on these periodic and unedifying fisticuffs in the Holy Sepulchre. The Israeli authorities might baulk at an Antiochan, but given their implication in the property scandal, they would be morally on very weak grounds if they resisted.

Are Patriarchs normally drawn from episcopal ranks or could an Antiochan archimandrite (e.g. John Talli of St Georges?) also be a serious candidate?

In understand Bartholomeo has invited Irenios to the Phanar to “discuss” the situation in Jerusalem. Since the two are anything but friends, I suspect this is an invitation to a face saving exile.

Irenicist


#14

[quote=Irenicist]The Israeli authorities might baulk at an Antiochan, but given their implication in the property scandal, they would be morally on very weak grounds if they resist.
[/quote]

How pleasing if the Israelis now feel concerned about the weak moral ground of their actions and policies! :thumbsup:


#15

[quote=Fr Ambrose]How pleasing if the Israelis now feel concerned about the weak moral ground of their actions and policies! :thumbsup:
[/quote]

Both the Jordanian and Palestinian governments have recommended that dismissal of Irenios be recognized respectively by the King and the Palestinian authority. Israel said it would not intervene.

The Patriarch was arguing that only he could summon a valid synod, but as all the Church’s property (even in Israel) is subject to Jordanian and Palestinian legislation, this should pretty well close the file except for a few formalities. Interestingly, the Orthodox Patriarchate is apparetnly the largest property holder in the Jerusalem area because the Turks awarded it almost all the contested Church property while Palestine was under Turkish rule.

Irenicist


#16

[quote=Irenicist]The Patriarch was arguing that only he could summon a valid synod, but as all the Church’s property (even in Israel) is subject to Jordanian and Palestinian legislation, this should pretty well close the file except for a few formalities. Interestingly, the Orthodox Patriarchate is apparetnly the largest property holder in the Jerusalem area because the Turks awarded it almost all the contested Church property while Palestine was under Turkish rule.
[/quote]

Jordan (and Jordan alone) has control over both the Christian and Muslim shrines in Jerusalem and has had since 1994.

But Jordan’s control is over the Jerusalem holy places and not over “all Church property.” For example the Israeli Knesset is built on land leased from the Orthodox Patriarchate, as is the Prime Minister’s residence as well as the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem. And that is only the tip of the iceberg of the land owned by the Church in Jerusalem. Such “secular” Church properties are not within any Jordanian purview.


#17

One factor with which the Jerusalem Patriarchate will have to come to terms in the near future is the large numbers of Russian Orthodox who are now part of its flock. Jerusalem has set up a church department for the Russians but it seems inadequate for the numbers of Russians involved. In the years ahead the character of the Patriarchate will be altered by the Russian influx.

portal-credo.ru/site/print.php?act=news&id=33276

Last wave of immigration sharply increased
the number of secret Orthodox Christians in Israel

Although official statistics indicate that the number of Christians in Israel is constantly decreasing, in reality, EAI data shows that there is a large number of secret Christians among the Jews who arrived from Russia and Ukraine between 1989-1993.

Thus, the research conducted among 86,000 new immigrants in 1999 demonstrated that approximately 53% of them cannot be considered Jews in accordance with Judaic law. Available data suggest approximately 400,000 “unregistered Orthodox Christians” arrived with the last wave of immigration.

Now as [Israeli] authorities are attempting to shut the doors on such immigrants, Christian communities are countering with more active evangelizing. Thus, the Roman Catholic Church has sent to this country a dozen new priests who speak Ukrainian and Russian.


#18

[quote=Fr Ambrose]Jordan (and Jordan alone) has control over both the Christian and Muslim shrines in Jerusalem and has had since 1994.

But Jordan’s control is over the Jerusalem holy places and not over “all Church property.” For example the Israeli Knesset is built on land leased from the Orthodox Patriarchate, as is the Prime Minister’s residence as well as the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem. And that is only the tip of the iceberg of the land owned by the Church in Jerusalem. Such “secular” Church properties are not within any Jordanian purview.
[/quote]

It’s a bit more complicated than that, as the legal framework for the Church’s operation is set out in Jordanian law which has been accepted and implemented by Israel (and, so far as I know, not amended since the 1950s). As a specific example, the Church cannot sell outright any property it owned prior to 1967 because Jordanian law forbids it. The properties you mention are rented to the State of Israel under 100 or 200 year leases to get around the restrictions set out in Jordanian law.

Irenicist


#19

[quote=Fr Ambrose]One factor with which the Jerusalem Patriarchate will have to come to terms in the near future is the large numbers of Russian Orthodox who are now part of its flock. Jerusalem has set up a church department for the Russians but it seems inadequate for the numbers of Russians involved. In the years ahead the character of the Patriarchate will be altered by the Russian influx.

portal-credo.ru/site/print.php?act=news&id=33276

Last wave of immigration sharply increased
the number of secret Orthodox Christians in Israel

Although official statistics indicate that the number of Christians in Israel is constantly decreasing, in reality, EAI data shows that there is a large number of secret Christians among the Jews who arrived from Russia and Ukraine between 1989-1993.

Thus, the research conducted among 86,000 new immigrants in 1999 demonstrated that approximately 53% of them cannot be considered Jews in accordance with Judaic law. Available data suggest approximately 400,000 “unregistered Orthodox Christians” arrived with the last wave of immigration.

Now as [Israeli] authorities are attempting to shut the doors on such immigrants, Christian communities are countering with more active evangelizing. Thus, the Roman Catholic Church has sent to this country a dozen new priests who speak Ukrainian and Russian.
[/quote]

This is indeed an interesting problem. We will have to see how many of these “non Jewish” ethnic Russians ultimately register themselves as Christian. I would be surprised if this turns out to be as high as 400,000. The majority of these Russians (like most in Russia) may be completely secularized and have no genuine religious affiliation at all. Given the net emigration of Palestinian Christians, however, those Russians who will be willing to formally identify themselves as Christian may represent our best hope for keeping Chrisitanity alive in the land of its birth.

Irenicist


#20

[quote=Irenicist]It’s a bit more complicated than that, as the legal framework for the Church’s operation is set out in Jordanian law which has been accepted and implemented by Israel (and, so far as I know, not amended since the 1950s). As a specific example, the Church cannot sell outright any property it owned prior to 1967 because Jordanian law forbids it. The properties you mention are rented to the State of Israel under 100 or 200 year leases to get around the restrictions set out in Jordanian law.

[/quote]

Are you saying that the Jordanian Government has control of not only the Christian and Muslim holy places in Jerusalem but of ALL the real estate which is owned by the Church and by the Muslim religion in Jerusalem?

The current Dean of our parishes in New Zealand was the former head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem. I shall make enquiries.


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