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4602Irenaios makes reappearance

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    Dec 31, 2005
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      2005.12.29 KAthimerini:AP:
      Irenaios makes reappearance

      KEVIN FRAYER/AP

      The former patriarch of Jerusalem, Irenaios (c), speaks yesterday to the
      Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah, the top Catholic clergyman in the Holy Land.
      Irenaios attended the annual party for Christian leaders held by Israeli
      President Moshe Katsav, but current Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos did not
      go to the New Year's reception in Jerusalem.

      JERUSALEM (AP) The new Greek patriarch of the Holy Land stayed away from
      the annual Christmas gathering at the Israeli president's residence
      yesterday because the Church's ousted former patriarch also was invited, a
      spokesman said.
      "The Church cannot have two patriarchs," said the Greek Orthodox Church
      secretary, Archbishop Aristarchos.

      The current patriarch, Theophilos, replaced Irenaios after the latter was
      ousted in May amid allegations of leasing Church property in Jerusalem's
      Old City to Jewish settler groups. Israel has not recognized Irenaios's
      removal or the Church's election of Theophilos.

      Theophilos's invitation addressed him simply as "bishop," Aristarchos said.
      Theophilos has petitioned Israel's Supreme Court for the state to recognize
      him because Church rules require governmental approval in areas where his
      flock lives. For Theophilos, this includes Israel, Jordan and the
      Palestinian Authority. The latter two recognize him.