Thursday, July 14, 2005

'Jerusalem, mother of the Churches and the dwelling place of Christ'

If the Patriarchate of Jerusalem were a television show, it could be a biting satire about unfulfilled possibilities, unspoken assumptions, backbiting, manipulation and folly. Cancel All My Children and replace it with The Jerusalem Patriarchate Today.

Earlier this week, an Israeli police officer was wounded when a fistfight broke out when Patriarch (?) Irineos tried to go back to/take possession of his office.

The day before that, the Israel government expressed concern that Greece might be overly involved in choosing the new patriarch. Notice that it's Israel that's concerned, not the Palestinians, who presumably were complaining because they didn't have a Palestinian patriarch.

Now the Palestinian Authority has withdrawn its support from the flailing patriarch (?), the second leg of the stool broken under him. Only Israel has remained neutral thus far.

As an antidote to the absurdity, I bring you the latest news from 381, the Second Ecumenical Council, in Constantinople:
Of the church at Jerusalem, mother of all the churches, we make known that the right reverend and most religious Cyril is bishop, who was some time ago canonically ordained by the bishops of the province, and has in several places fought a good fight against the Arians. We beseech your reverence to rejoice at what has thus been rightly and canonically settled by us, by the intervention of spiritual love and by the influence of the fear of the Lord, compelling the feelings of men, and making the edification of churches of more importance than individual grace or favour. Thus since among us there is agreement in the faith and Christian charity has been established, we shall cease to use the phrase condemned by the apostles, I am of Paul and I of Apollos and I of Cephas, and all appearing as Christ's, who in us is not divided, by God's grace we will keep the body of the church unrent, and will boldly stand at the judgment seat of the Lord.

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