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Synod notifies Jordan of patriarch's dismissal

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    2005.05.09 JP/AP: Synod notifies Jordan of patriarch s dismissal Associated Press, THE JERUSALEM POST May. 8, 2005 Jordan has received a document demanding the
    Message 1 of 1 , May 9, 2005
      2005.05.09 JP/AP: Synod notifies Jordan of patriarch's dismissal

      Associated Press, THE JERUSALEM POST
      May. 8, 2005

      Jordan has received a document demanding the dismissal of Greek Orthodox
      Patriarch Irineos I over his alleged role in a controversial Jerusalem
      property deal, a church official and lawmaker both said Sunday.
      The document, signed by 13 of the 17-member Synod of the Greek Orthodox
      Church in Jerusalem, was sent to Jordan's Interior Minister.
      Jordan, Jerusalem's Christian and Muslim holy site custodian, has said it
      would accept the dismissal if two-thirds of the synod's members backed the
      decision. It was unclear when it would make its decision. Irineos has been
      quoted as saying he is determined to fight the dismissal.
      Jerusalem Patriarchate clergyman Archmandrite Chrysostomos, speaking on
      behalf of Irineos, argued the allegations were prompted by a power struggle.
      "This is an effort by some of these people who ever since losing the
      election themselves four years ago have been seeking an opportunity to
      capitalize on the discrediting of His Beatitude," he told The Associated
      Press in Jerusalem in English. "The body that they have formed, however, is
      illegal. ... Their statement asking for his resignation also lays them open
      to be judged under the canon law of the church."
      Chrysostomos says Irineos has no intention of resigning. "He has no
      involvement," he said.
      "A decision by (Jordan's) prime minister, followed by a royal decree
      endorsing the document, is required to put the dismissal into effect,"
      explained parliamentarian Odeh Qawas, who heads Jordan's parliamentary
      committee following up the investigation into Irineos' alleged sale of
      property to Israel.
      Qawas also alleged another church official was caught stealing important
      documents and money from a safe in the Jerusalem's church's head office.
      Chrysostomos denied the accusations, saying the person in question was
      authorized to withdraw the funds.
      The property transactions Irineos allegedly was involved in are politically
      explosive because Palestinians see them as abetting Jewish settlement
      groups in their efforts to expand their presence in east Jerusalem. Most of
      the church's flock in the Holy Land are Palestinians.
      Irineos has denied allegations that he was involved in leasing church
      property, including two hotels in the Old City, to an Israeli firm.
      The church complies with a 1958 Jordanian law that bans any sale of church
      land and property.
      Father Christopher Hanna, deputy of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in
      Northern Jordan, also said he delivered a copy of the document demanding
      Irineos' dismissal to Interior Minister Awni Yirfas.
      A copy of the three-page document obtained by The Associated Press asked
      Jordan to recognize a church committee's efforts to elect a new patriarch.
      Under a 1994 peace treaty with Israel, Jordan was given the responsibility
      of overseeing the affairs of Christian and Islamic holy shrines in Jerusalem.
      This article can also be read at

      Copyright 1995-2005 The Jerusalem Post - http://www.jpost.com/
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