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Patriarch Irineos I is accused of corruption

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  • Fr John Brian
    ... From: Bishop Tikhon This is from Al Jazeera. I don t see it being published elsewhere. Patriarch Irineos I is accused of corruption Jerusalem patriarch
    Message 1 of 1 , May 5, 2005
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Bishop Tikhon

      This is from Al Jazeera. I don't see it being published elsewhere.

      Patriarch Irineos I is accused of corruption

      Jerusalem patriarch faces boycott
      Thursday 05 May 2005 10:53 AM GMT

      Leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church in the Holy Land have
      announced that they are breaking off all contact with the
      embattled Patriarch Irineos I because of corruption suspicions
      and consider him dismissed.

      Thirteen bishops and 25 archimandrites of the church made
      the announcement in a statement.

      Their dismissal is not binding, but it ratchets up internal
      pressures on Irineos to step down over allegations he was
      involved in leasing prime church property to Jewish
      settlement groups in Jerusalem's Old City.

      The patriarch has denied wrongdoing in the land
      transactions, which, while legal, are politically explosive
      because Palestinians see them as abetting Jewish groups in their efforts to
      expand their
      presence in East Jerusalem.

      Palestinians consider that sector of the city as the capital of their
      future state.

      Clerics' letter
      In their letter on Thursday, the clergy assigned Irineos "all direct
      responsibility for corruption
      within the patriarchate," singling out his "unilateral and irresponsible
      forfeiture of property and
      buildings that belong to the Orthodox Church".

      They declared him persona non-grata, served notice that they would bring
      legal proceedings
      against him and his associates "to revoke all suspect deals and restore all
      that was sold".
      Irineos wasn't immediately available for comment. Earlier this week, he
      described his
      opponents in the patriarchate as "worms and trash", adding: "Let them cut
      off my hands if I
      have stolen anything. The mud they have slung as me is still fresh, but it
      will dry and fall off."

      Palestinian Christians
      Dimitri Diliani, head of a coalition of Palestinian Christians, called the
      clergymen's revolt on
      Thursday a "historic move of disobedience" that would further isolate
      Irineos and create more
      pressure on him to resign or convene the patriarchate's Holy Synod, which
      would have the
      authority to dismiss him.

      Palestinians, who consider the alleged land deals a betrayal, have held
      several protests against
      Irineos outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, demanding he
      step down.

      On Friday, an Israeli newspaper reported it had obtained proof the church
      leased the property
      to Jewish investors for 198 years, a transaction tantamount to a sale.

      The alleged land deal, which the Maariv daily first reported in March,
      involves two hotels and
      several shops near Jaffa Gate in the Old City.

      You can find this article at:

      Commending all to Christ's love,
      +Tikhon, Bishop of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the West, The Orthodox
      Church in America
      "Conventionality is not religion. Self-righteousness is not religion. to
      attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face
      of the Pharisee is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns."
      (Charlotte Bronte)

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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