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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Patriarchs can get canned - what about Popes then...?

Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Irineos I at least got to wave to the crowd during the Palm Sunday Mass one last time at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed to be the burial place of Jesus Christ, in Jerusalem's Old City last April 24... The Greek Orthodox Church Synod, the church's highest decision-making body in the Holy Land, dismissed Patriarch Irineos I this past friday over his alleged role in a suspect land deal that angered Palestinian Christians, church officials said... and alleged! Hmm... makes one wonder if our new Pope Benedict can get ditched too, if he were ever to be found not... kosher? *lol*

Over the course of papal history, of course, quite a few pontifical bits of... weirdness were to be found. Well worth investigating/googling/asking jeeves all about it... but I haven't the time ofr it right now! *lol*

All of Orthodoxy's patriarchal figures have reunited this week to decide on what to do NEXT... if impeaching a patriarch is feasible, I guess Dubya can get ditched too one of these days... hopefully... eh? *LOL* We can always hope! :)

Greek Orthodox Church Dismisses Patriarch

JERUSALEM (AP) - The Greek Orthodox Church Synod, the church's highest decision-making body in the Holy Land, dismissed Patriarch Irineos I Friday over his alleged role in a land deal that angered Palestinian Christians, church officials said.

The patriarch has been under attack over a deal in which church property in Jerusalem was leased to a Jewish group.

Such land transactions, while legal, are politically explosive because Palestinians see them as abetting Jews in their efforts to expand their presence in east Jerusalem. Palestinians consider that sector of the city as capital of their future state, while Jews claim the entire city as their eternal capital.

The church leadership announced Thursday it was ending all contact with Irineos because of corruption suspicions and considers him dismissed. That decision, however, was nonbinding.

The rebel clergy accused Irineos of being "incorrigibly caught up in a syndrome of lying, religious distortion, degradation of the patriarchate's role, and irresponsible mishandling of patriarchate property."

On Friday, the Synod officially endorsed the position and Irineos left the patriarchy, church spokesman Attalah Hanah said.

"We decided to fire him and he left today and we don't know where he went," Hanah said.

It was not known where Irineos went after the Synod meeting. Church officials said he left with an Israeli police escort, but police denied this.

Irineos, who has denied the allegations, had been under pressure to resign since March when an Israeli newspaper reported that the church had leased property, including two hotels, to an Israeli firm. The sales would bolster the Jewish presence in east Jerusalem, a traditionally Arab quarter.

Palestinian officials said the church leaders were meeting to begin the process of electing a new patriarch.

"We know that a majority of the Holy Synod met today and decided to dismiss the patriarch and according to the law they have the right to do so," said Emil Jarjour, who heads a Palestinian ministerial committee investigating the land deal.

"Now they are taking the necessary steps to conduct elections in the near future to choose a new patriarch," he said.

At a rare news conference last month, Irineos said he was unaware of the alleged transactions and said he was not involved in any deal that reportedly was signed by Nikos Papadimas, the church financial officer who vanished three months ago.

Papadimas is wanted in Greece after Greek Orthodox Church officials in Athens accused him of fleeing with $800,000 in church funds. His wife is wanted on separate charges of money laundering. Separately, a European arrest warrant has been issued for Papadimas, Greek officials said.

I never have known much about the Catholic Church until I started reading your blog! I don't watch the news much at all so what news I do get comes right from The Luminous Blog!

Thanks for posting things that otherwise I would not ever know if I didn't read them here at The Luminous Blog!

You do a Great Job in finding just the right topics to post about!

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