Monday, May 30, 2005

More on the Jerusalem Patriarch

TIME Europe magazine has a long article about the controversy over the Jerusalem Patriarch (or former patriarch) Irineos. It collects information about the patriarch's background and the financial issues at stake.

Last week a pan-Orthodox synod meeting in Istanbul voted to give Irineos the heave-ho, but Irineos left the assembly and doesn't acknowledge their authority.

One of the participants, Metropolitan Kesarious Asilios of Jerusalem -- a member of the hierarchy of the Jerusalem Patriarchage -- reported that the patriarch "has been dismissed by all Orthodox churches."

Not quite true: Only 12 churches participated, and of them the Patriarch of George voted in favor of Irineos and Antioch and Poland abstained.

Georgia argues that the process was wrong:
“Issues like this should not be discussed as it was done at this meeting of synod, it contradicted traditions,” Zurab Tskhovrebadze, the spokesman for the Georgian Orthodox Church told Civil Georgia on May 25.
I honestly don't know what to make of this, but it fascinates me -- I think because of all the unspoken motives. It's like watching a Noh drama -- an elaborate dance of a drama with enormous stakes, even beyond the apparent, with a cast of mask-wearing characters whose history would explain who and what they are, but their history is unknown, and throughout it all, comprehension hangs out of reach like a tempting fruit.

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