May 12, 2007
Talks in Jerusalem raise hopes
A meeting in Jerusalem yesterday between Greece's Orthodox Patriarch
Theophilos and the Palestinian Christian Affairs Council was
described by patriarch officials as "constructive."
The news was a relief to Greek government officials who were
concerned by speculation earlier this week that Jordanian and
Palestinian authorities are considering withdrawing their recognition
of Theophilos. The Palestinian council did not confirm that it would
continue to recognize Theophilos but "showed goodwill," according to
According to sources, the Palestinians asked for a full update of the
patriarchate's property in the wake of a scandal in 2005, when then
patriarch Irenaios was deposed for allegedly selling Church property
in a sensitive area of east Jerusalem to Israeli companies.
Palestinians also pressed for the creation of a mixed council,
including Orthodox laymen alongside clerics, to oversee the
Sources said that Jordanian authorities are less likely to be
flexible in talks. Theophilos is due in Amman tomorrow.