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Israeli police support ousted Orthodox patriarch

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  • Debbora Berlinger
    http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=37537 Catholic World News Jerusalem, Jun. 02 (AsiaNews) - Although the Greek Orthodox synod has voted
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 3, 2005
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      http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=37537

      Catholic World News

      Jerusalem, Jun. 02 (AsiaNews) - Although the Greek Orthodox synod has
      voted overwhelmingly to oust Patriarch Ireneos of Jerusalem, Israeli
      police are maintaining the controversial prelate in office, the
      AsiaNews service reports.

      In a detailed analysis written from Jerusalem for AsiaNews, Father
      David Jaeger, a Catholic expert on Church-state relations in Israel,
      remarks that the Israeli government's involvement in the dispute
      among Orthodox leaders is an evident violation of the regime's
      promise of religious freedom.

      Patriarch Ireneos, who has clashed repeatedly with other Christian
      leaders in Jerusalem, was condemned by his own faithful when it came
      to light that he had sold property inside the walled Old City to
      Jewish investors. The transfer of property was seen as a betrayal by
      Orthodox believers who are intent on maintaining the Christian
      presence in Jerusalem. After bishops in the region announced that
      they would no longer accept Ireneos' leadership, the Orthodox synod
      voted to remove him from office.

      In a tradition dating back to the Ottoman empire and beyond, the
      Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem must be confirmed by the government.
      Jordan, which controlled the city before 1968, still claims that
      right; Israel has never asserted it. But Israeli authorities have not
      acknowledged the Orthodox synod's decision to depose the patriarch
      and elect a successor.
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