Saturday, May 07, 2005

They fired the patriarch?

The LA Times reports this morning that Greek Orthodox Church Dismisses Patriarch:
The Greek Orthodox Church's highest ruling body in Jerusalem dismissed Patriarch Irineos I over his alleged role in a land deal that angered Palestinian Christians, church officials said.
The LA Times goes on to detail some he-allegedly-said, she-allegedly-said stuff about land deals not being illegal but controversial, etc. . . , and I went on to find out what was really happening.

I skipped Al Jazeera and the National Post of Canada, but found this article at the Christian Today site:
The Synod is the highest decision making body in the Greek Orthodox Church and the church leadership announced on Thursday that it would be ending all contact with Patriarch Irineos I due to corruption suspicions. They added that from this point onwards they would consider the Patriarch dismissed – however, this decision is non-binding.
Interesting twist in the last clause there. Who would have the authority to make it binding? (This is a procedural question.)

Later, a Church spokesman speaks:
The Church spokesman, Attalah Hanah said, "We decided to fire him and he left today and we don't know where he went."
Yikes. It's like when the city council here in West Linn fired the city manager.

But wait, this is the same Attallah Hannah who in 2002 was removed from his post as spokesman for the Orthodox Church for saying he supported the Palestinian "resistance" -- which at the time was suicide bombers blowing up school buses, restaurants, religious observances and street corners in Israel.

In 2001, Hannah said, "Al-Quds (the Arab name for Jerusalem) is an Arab and Palestinian city with its holy shrines, holy Islamic and Christian shrines," maintained Atallah Hannah, the Greek Orthodox head of the delegation and an ethnic Arab. "There will be no peace in the region unless the city is returned to its legitimate owners and becomes the capital of the Palestinian independent state," which sounds to me as if he shares Arafat's dream of eliminating the state of Israel (not to mention the Jews) from the region.

I haven't been following the vicissitudes of the Jerusalem Patriarchate, but it seems that the Hannah party squared off against the Irineos party, and the Irineos party lost. Irineos' crime, apparently, was leasing land to Jews, and now what appears to be an anti-Semite (OK, Arabs consider themselves Semites -- anti-Jewish) wing of the Church rises to take over.

This post is also available at Blogger News Network.

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