Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Eastern churches and Palestine
From Joseph Oliveri

Pan-Orthodox Synod in Constantinople deposes ex-Patriarch Irineos of Jerusalem
Who was driven out by his Palestinian flock after he sold church land to Israelis

JO: I take no joy in the man’s misfortune, nor in the events leading to his downfall, but perhaps this outcome is a hopeful sign for Orthodox*-[Roman] Catholic fraternity in the region.

Father Dimitrios, secretary to the Jerusalem Synod, with enthusiasm tells AsiaNews what happened.

“Our community is full of joy. Yesterday, the Synod in Constantinople accepted the decision of the Synod of Jerusalem and no longer considers Cardinal
[sic] Ireneos as patriarch. This amounts to excommunication since the Orthodox Church no longer accepts him as patriarch. Ireneos can no longer work with any Church in that capacity and we no longer have to mention his name during the liturgy,” he said.
Excommunication? I’m not sure about that. I think that all it means is that he can’t serve as a patriarch or as a bishop or priest unless another Local Orthodox Church takes him.

While I question deposing somebody for this kind of mistake, nothing to do with faith or morals and everything to do with the incendiary politics in that country, maybe it’s just as well that this fellow is gone for the reason Joe refers to:

Ireneos I (whose name means the peaceful one) had a reputation in Jerusalem for pushing his followers into clashes with the friars of the Holy Sepulchre and for creating troubles in the management of the Holy Sites owned jointly with Catholic Church.

According to Father Dimitrios, Ireneos I’s dismissal will improve relations with Catholics.

“Clashes between Orthodox and Catholics had become particularly heated under Ireneos. It is true that the rules under the current status quo are very restrictive and occasionally there are disagreements and frictions. But we shouldn’t get to the point of quarrelling and fighting each other,” he said.
That is, if Fr Dimitrios, clearly anti-Irineos personally, is telling the truth (that the former patriarch really was hateful) and not simply telling these RC journos what he thinks they want to hear.

*I’ve cleaned up this page’s layout a little bit for your viewing pleasure.

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