World Orthodox Leaders Gather in Istanbul

May 24, 2005

Source: Yahoo! News

Wire Service: AP

On May 24, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "World Orthodox leaders gathered Tuesday in Istanbul, the ancient seat of Orthodoxy, to decide whether to stop recognizing the beleaguered patriarch of Jerusalem, Irineos I, and assert a rare unified position on the crisis facing the church in the Holy Land. Representatives of the world's 14 main Orthodox churches gathered in the rare 'pan-Orthodox' synod presided over by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the Istanbul-based spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians. Irineos has persistently refused to resign despite efforts by his own church members to depose him over explosive allegations that his church leased property to Jewish investors in east Jerusalem, which Palestinians consider their capital...The Istanbul proceedings are the first major pan-Orthodox summit in more than a decade. The gathering has no authority to formally dismiss Irineos or pick his successor. That duty rests solely with the synod, or governing council, of the Jerusalem church. Irineos refuses to convene the synod. But leading clerics from churches in Greece, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania and other Orthodox countries may use the Istanbul meeting to further isolate Irineos and voice opinions about how to regain the church's credibility after months of upheaval in Jerusalem."