Greek Orthodox Patriarch Dismissed After Contentious Land Deal in Jerusalem

May 10, 2005

Source: Yahoo! News

Wire Service: AP

On May 10, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "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.'"